Weng Fine Art shapes the art market of the future / Expansion into tokenization of artworks and trading of art tokens (NFT)

13 Aug. 2021 / Pressemitteilungen

In the course of establishing a new business segment, Weng Fine Art AG (WFA) focuses on investing in new business models, which allow the tokenization of physical artworks as well as trading of the resulting tokens based on blockchain-technology.  

With it’s latest investment, WFA now holds a stake of about 15% in the tokenization platform 360X Art AG. The company, which is based in Frankfurt, has so far been financed mainly through Deutsche Börse Group and Commerzbank. It develops a technical infrastructure to tokenize and trade art tokens. The investment of WFA comes with an option to expand its stake in 360X Art AG up to 20%. At the same time, Weng Fine Art AG also holds an option to acquire a stake in the parent company 360X AG.  

As part of a previous capital increase, Rüdiger K. Weng, CEO of WFA, and the star galerist Johann König had already taken a stake of around 4% each in the innovative FinTech company.  

The NFT platform was primarily designed by Carlo Kölzer, who already developed the Forex marketplace 360Treasury (360T). In 2015, this company was acquired by Deutsche Börse Group for EUR 725 million.  

With Shirin Marquart as Managing Director of 360Art XX and its key shareholder 360X, 360X Art develops and operates a technical infrastructure for digitization, tokenization and fractionalization of high-value, physical and digital artworks as well as other collectibles. Based on blockchain technology, the platform allows to create a secure certificate of assets, which then can be fractionalized and traded. This enables a larger group of potential investors to participate in the art market and to benefit from its increases in value immediately.  

CEO Rüdiger K. Weng: "With the introduction of tokenization and trading NFTs on blockchain-based platforms, we are facing a greater revolution in the art market than the invention of the Internet. It eventually turns a heterogeneous, illiquid product into a homogeneous and liquid one. For the financial market, this sets the base to classify art as a real asset class. Although In the future, there will still be art collectors, they will  gradually lose influence on the art market. In the course of a few years, financial investors will become the driving force of the art market."  

CDO Melanie Moske: "Together with the team of 360X Art and 360X we will develop an ecosystem that enables everyone to invest in art as an asset. Even without a particular art or tech expertise, everyone will soon be able to invest in art - which will benefit both, artists and the art market. For WFA, our holding in the company is also a unique opportunity to leverage our expertise in the finance and art market in the best possible way without building our own tech team."  

Weng Fine Art AG will also use the emerging art token trading platform to tokenize and trade artworks from its own inventory. Together with a licenced broker, it also intends to act as a market maker for the platform, so it can leverage its unique expertise in the art and financial market. In this business segment, first profits are expected in 2022. The Breakeven of the tokenization and trading business in WFA is expected in 2023. As all marketplace business models, it holds the potential to have exceptionally high growth leverage.  

The strong engagement in the digital art business will also lead to significant changes in the WFAs company structure and has the potential to boost every business segment. With this intention, it has been a priority for the board to appoint a Chief Digital Officer to the management team in the person of Melanie Moske - the first CDO in a German art company. She will mainly focus on developing new digital business models in the art market and optimizing all WFA business segments through digital technologies.  

Rüdiger K. Weng: "Weng Fine Art, which has been operating between the art and financial markets for years, is predestined to expand its business towards becoming an Art/Fin/Tech. After its highly successful expansion into e-commerce business in 2015, WFA's will be involved in another metamorphosis. With the transformations brought by blockchain technology, it will experience a more significant change, which will eventually result in the most exciting and successful art company in all of Europe."