- Metapurse is the world’s largest NFT fund and it’s estimated to be worth $189 million.
- The private fund spends around $250,000 a week on digital art and bought the $69 million Beeple piece.
- A co-founder shares his NFT outlook with top picks from the fund and the platforms set to be industry winners.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Over the course of a year, Anand Venkateswaran went from being a journalist, who covered decentralized finance, to becoming a digital art maven, selecting and buying art for the world’s largest non-fungible token fund, Metapurse, via his digital identity Twobadour.
The Metapurse fund is estimated to be worth $189 million and is best known for its purchase of Beeple’s “Everydays: the first 5000 days” NFT from the iconic Christie’s auction house for $69 million earlier this year.
The co-founder of the fund, Vignesh Sundaresan, also known as Metakovan, has previously said the fund spends around $250,000 a week on NFTs.
An NFT is a cryptographic token that exists on the blockchain and can represent items, such as art, music and real estate. Each token represents a unique digital item and can’t be exchanged for another, the way a cryptocurrency can.
As part of a recent conversation with Insider, Venkateswaran shared his outlook for the space as it experiences mass euphoria. He also shares the platforms he thinks could be long-term winners and his top picks from the portfolio.
Are NFTs in a bubble?
NFTs have surged in popularity in recent months. Within the last 30 days around $323 million have been spent on NFTs, according to Nonfungible.com.
Eye-watering sales, such as the $69 million Beeple piece, has brought mainstream attention to the space. There has since been a rush of companies and big-name celebrities looking to launch NFTs of their own.
On Thursday, a co-founder of Ethereum said the market for NFTs has become “saturated”.
Venkateswaran agrees to an extent.
There isn’t a single bubble in the NFT space, Venkateswaran said. Instead it’s more a collection of bubbles, many of which will pop.
However, the pop won’t have the same impact as previous bubbles. It’s more likely that many ideas just won’t last, Venkateswaran said.
“I think there will be these pockets of resilience of people and projects and categories of NFTs, which have been building for a really long time now and have found this template for how to survive,” Venkateswaran said.
NFT platform winners
Venkateswaran is particularly cautious about investing in NFT marketplaces, because there are already so many of them. His investing strategy focuses on platforms that will take the conversation forward.
He scopes out platforms that will be able to react, respond and thrive, even in a
If artists flock to a platform, then that tends to also be a good indicator of its strength, he adds.
He highlights three platforms he thinks could become leaders in the NFT world.
“I feel these three are definite winners in my book,” Venkateswaran said.
1) Nifty Gateway
Nifty Gateway is a marketplace to buy and sell NFTs, which launched in March, 2020.
“Nifty Gateway has a very, very strong financial model and they work really hard at crafting those drops, each of them designed to maximise the upside on every drop, we have a lot of admiration for that,” Venkateswaran said.
“[Nifty Gateway is] top of your funnel when it comes to bringing in mainstream artists into this space typically, it’s flashy, it’s very vivid, it’s visible and it’s a quick dip your toes into this ecosystem model, which does not demand any larger engagement in the ecosystem, which is beautiful.”
2) Async Art
AsyncArt is an art movement built on the blockchain. The art is split into various layers, which individuals can own and change and then, when they put it together, it creates collaborative artwork.
“AsyncArt completely transforms the landscape of art,” Venkateswaran said. “That has a very powerful future.”
“I feel SuperRare is here to stay,” Venkateswaran said.
SuperRare is a marketplace to buy and sell NFTs, which launched in 2018.
“If you’ve been building in the bear market and you’ve found your stride during the bull [market], you’re going to continue building in the next bear market as well, because you have this model, which is now scalable and you’ve scaled once and you can scale it up, or down, based on the market and continue to survive,” Venkateswaran said.
What about legacy auction houses?
Traditional auction houses, such as Christie’s and Sotheby’s are also entering the NFT space.
The auction houses are not too late to the movement, Venkateswaran said.
“There is this very real possibility that they can leapfrog, that they can learn from the lessons and the trends that they’ve seen in the past in other marketplaces and think about how they want to differentiate themselves,” Venkateswaran said.
The engagement so far from the legendary auction houses has already made a powerful statement about digital art, Venkateswaran said. But the organizations will need to focus on technology to sustainably operate in this area, he added.
The Metapurse team purchased the $69 million Beeple artwork from Christie’s and it has become the crown jewel in its portfolio, Venkateswaran said.
“We feel it’s historic and it’s very important,” Venkateswaran said.
But there’s also so many other pieces in the portfolio, Venkateswaran shares some of his other favorites.