Manchester-based NFT (non-fungible token) platform KnownOrigin has closed a £3.5 million series A funding round, co-led by crypto venture capital firms GBV and Sanctor Capital.
Launched out of a Manchester basement in 2018, KnownOrigin was one of the first NFT art platforms to launch.
Pioneers in their field, the company was born from a desire to showcase and sell digital artwork in the same way as physical pieces, with the greater intention to democratise the art world by empowering artists with simpler transaction processes.
In the past year, they have generated more than $30 million in sales and have seen a tenfold increase in unique collectors and creators.
Andy Gray, KnownOrigin Co-Founder said: “In 2018 we wanted to give creatives a more transparent way to sell their work. Fast forward to today and we’re working with over 5000 creators who are selling NFTs to collectors around the world”.
To further expand their reach, the company has actively sought out investment from blockchain innovators, crypto investors and prominent community members in the NFT space.
On this, David Moore, Co-Founder of KnownOrigin said: “We approached our funding round with care, seeking out investors who share our vision of helping digital creators monetise their craft.
"The £3.5m raised will be reinvested into the business to further support artists in the space going forward”.
James Morgan, Co-founder of KnownOrigin said: “Funding will enable KO to not only grow and innovate but to build the ecosystem we envisage. NFTs have bloomed in the last year and there is danger of pushing space into bad habits that linger from the Web 2 world. We want a permissionless, transparent, fair thriving ecosystem where creators and collectors can engage in culture excellence and experience”
Ilya Abugov, Co-Founder, Partner at Sanctor Capital added: “We are incredibly excited about the future of KnownOrigin. David, Andy and James are true missionary founders who really care about the creator community. They understand the challenges in the space and have the vision and technological prowess to make a difference. We can’t wait to see what the team has in store”.
In their four years in the space, KnownOrigin has built a solid reputation for innovating in the NFT space, including partnering with brands such as Adidas, Netflix and Adobe as well as creating a new royalties system that ensures independent artists instantly receive royalties every time their work is sold.
KnownOrigin has also maintained a strong reputation in the Manchester community, hosting regular events showcasing both local and international talent from the NFT world.
Most recently they brought the first NFT presence to Manchester Art Fair, showcasing a selection of artist's work and guiding attendees on how to join the NFT space.