Posted: April 26, 2019 -
Recently, ArtMarketGuru came across monart, a new French-based start-up founded by Malo Girod de l’Ain and Pauline Houl. Malo Girod de l’Ain is a serial entrepreneur who founded art production and internet publishing companies. Pauline Houl manages a large art center in Beijing with a strong expertise in finance. Together, they have the ambition to disrupt the global art market by creating an art community and a marketplace. They intend to become a billion dollar company within 5 years. They aim to transform the ways art lovers and collectors discover and buy art. Monart main goal is to offer tools for artists’ promotion addressing the needs of Millennials’ collectors. These tools include both physical galleries and virtual reality exhibition spaces. In addition, monart shall offer art investors the opportunity to buy shares of artworks or collections through blockchain smart-contracts.
We had the pleasure to talk to Malo Girod de l’Ain, co-founder and president of monart.
Could you please give us a little background about you, monart and your team?
I’m monart’s co-founder and president, based in Paris. As entrepreneur and innovator, I founded ten years ago, Digitalarti, one of the first digital art production company producing stunning events and installations for companies and municipalities. Before that, during 10 years, I was founder and CEO of innovative Internet and publishing, companies including M21 and before founder of tech companies and VC.
The other monart’s co-founder and CEO is Pauline Houl, based in Beijing. She manages a large 2.000 m2 art center dedicated to art exhibitions, event and also corporate events. She has also a strong expertise on Western and Asian capital markets especially outbound and inbound investments as CEO of Eurohold China and before CEO Managing Director Greater China of Intertrust Group (Division of Fortis Bank listed on Euronext Amsterdam). That includes Western and Chinese Regulatory, Government Relations and business environment.
Monart SAS is a French corporation, Paris based having already raised close to half a million euros from business angels. Monart created also a 100% subsidiary, monart Limited, a Maltese corporation, opened to enjoy Malta’s more advanced token offering laws and expertise and to run the artists’ management operations. Malta is part of the European Union. Monart Limited is already officially allowed by the MFSA (Malta Financial Services Authority) to continue to undertake our activity and services, in or from within Malta.
Monart employs already a 20 people team based in Paris (new test art space to be moved to a much larger facility after our STO*), Beijing (2.000 m2 art space), Geneva, Malta & San Francisco, plus many talented advisors, international partners and major artists including Christophe Durand Ruel, former contemporary art director of Christie’s.
Monart’s ambition is to reinvent the USD 67.4 billion art industry with “innovative art experiences and new business models”. Could you please expand on your mission?
Our first mission is to reinvent the Artistic Experience. monart wants to help art lovers and collectors discover an artist’s universe, ideas, and art studios. These innovative experiences include 3D Exhibitions, Virtual Reality Glasses, 3D visits of artists’ studios, Decentralized Applications, Art Discovery Games, Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence and more. Check monart’s blog for some visual example.
Our second mission is to create new business models, including allowing easy and certified purchase of artworks or collection of artworks shares. This opens up liquidity option for artwork collectors, creates new ways to take part to the art market growth and vastly expends and democratizes the art market access.
Please describe your business model(s)?
Monart business models combines a growing list of activities. Initially, we shall generate revenues through sales of artworks (with payments in all major fiat and crypto currencies), sale of share of artworks and services to the industry (promotion of artists and their artworks). Monart includes galleries and art partners, initially free. Further activities shall generate revenues later this year: sale of share of collection of artworks, artwork rental, art collection management and art events. Monart covers all 3 major art markets: Asia, Europe and North America.
Describe your technologies (AR, VR, etc.) and the use of Blockchain?
Among the many innovations and technologies, monart creates Virtual 3D Exhibitions and 3D artist studios visits available on all platforms, computer, tablets, phones, CR headsets, projection. Those feature enables the monart community to discover artist’s universe, how artists work and are inspired to create their amazing artworks. With Augmented Reality, monart offers additional content to each artwork and will help the community discover how artwork they like fits into their homes or offices.
Regarding Blockchain, monart records each piece of art on the Blockchain, to certify and validate it, to make copies impossible and make transactions more open and traceable. All transactions are also stored on the Blockchain. Monart has also launched two Decentralized applications, or DApps, which work as decentralized Ethereum Blockchain based smart contracts for the sale of shares of artworks and for auctions.
How will you disrupt the art market?
As mentioned above, monart is disrupting the art market in two ways:
- monart reinvents the Artistic Experience with innovative experiences including 3D Exhibitions, Virtual Reality Glasses, 3D visits of artists’ studios, Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence and more.
- monart creates new business models, based on the Blockchain, to secure artworks provenance and transactions adding also the possible purchase of artworks or collection of artworks shares.
On the contemporary art market (today opaque, closed with little traceability and not very accessible to buyers and art lovers), monart records each piece of art on the Blockchain, creates a cryptocurrency, the “MART” (based on the Ethereum standard), and launch a Security Token Offering (STO*). Monart allows investing on several artworks at the same time through thematic, international or targeted collections and sell shares of these collections through smart contracts (secure contracts on the Blockchain). monart open a complete eco-system (with art lovers, artists and their works, galleries, professionals, institutions, services around art like insurance, transport…
Monart also supports and assists artists in their creations with the “monart Art Accelerator Initiative” financed by a percentage of the token offering proceeds and of all transactions on the site.
Monart has today a unique offer to disrupt the art market. Many existing art and Blockchain projects are more B2B services to the industry to help galleries, museums, institutions to register their artworks on the Blockchain.
I understand that you will launch a Security Token. Could you please tell us more about your STO?
Monart STO* will run on security token infrastructure including important features such as AML and KYC even though our token is named a VFA or Virtual Financial Asset under the Malta law.
Monart currently runs the private sale stage of its token offering, opened to investors of more than 100.000 euros, with the public sale to start right after.
For the token investment liquidity, monart will work with a growing number of exchanges to provide the liquidity of the monart tokens (MART) between monart tokens and Ethereum, Bitcoins, Fiats currencies euro, USD, etc.
The proceeds of the STO* will be split in 2 parts:
- half of the STO’s revenues will be invested in a large art collection whose gross profits are 100% paid to token holders
- half of the proceeds are used to develop our platform, promote it and pay for the operations to launch it worldwide, a 10% share of the large monart marketplace transactions gross profits are also paid to token holders
In addition, token holders benefit from many privileges including private sales, discount sales, exclusive art collection creation, VIP events invitations and many other perks…
Why do you need a Security Token?
The monart business model is completely different from standard utility tokens that are more an advance payment for future services or a payment currency like Bitcoin, Ether and other cryptocurrencies. Monart presents a unique and profitable approach with its innovative revenue based STO*. Monart uses 2 token types:
- First of all, Security tokens based on standard ERC20 Ethereum tokens sold through the token offering STO* as revenue based security tokens providing large revenues from the collection profits and from the platform transactions.
- Secondly, Standard ERC721 unique security tokens are used to represent each artwork proposed or presented on the monart platform. One ERC721 monart token can represent one or more artworks. Each ERC721 monart token can be the property of one person or of a group of persons sharing the same artwork or group of artworks.
Last year, we wrote an article about The Rise and Fall of Cryptocurrencies. How do you respond to that opinion ?
We followed closely this art initiative and share your vision. The token economics or tokenomics, as it is called today, was not the right one. The drastic decrease of value of that utility token proves it. Monart structured its tokenomics completely differently with 2 strong, growing and permanent sources of revenues paid to token holders to ensure that something like this does not happen. The monart token can experience up and downs of course, but the permanent and growing revenues from the large art collection and from the platform transactions paid to token holders will strongly sustain its price.
READ MORE: THE RISE AND FALL OF CRYPTOCURRENCIES
You say that your “main competitors are physical galleries”. Please expand.
Actually galleries will be more partners than competitors. We jokingly mentioned them as competitors as today they sell the most artworks, with also auction houses of course, compared to online sites. Many other art and Blockchain projects are B2B projects providing services to galleries, museums, institutions, etc., to secure their artworks on the Blockchain. Monart is very different as it opens a large international art community and marketplace.
In your perspective, what is the future of Art Galleries?
Art Galleries will progressively include different distribution models with their galleries, with the art fairs and with digital distribution through monart and a few other online ventures to access innovative experiences, new business models and vastly larger audiences.
Please discuss your roadmap.
In April, monart shall complete its MVP site and launches the large monart contemporary art collection purchased with half the proceeds of our token offering through the choices of our expert committee including Christie’s former contemporary art director. During this Q2 2019, monart will finalize its monart Token Offering with private sale and later the public sale.
Any dream? News?
Monart’s dream and objective is to create a new art experience to expend the role of art in our lives, cities, companies. Doing this, monart aims to reach close to 2% of the art market after 5 years by selling to the existing art market and vastly expending it to new buyers and collectors worldwide creating a US$ one billion a year company!
Among our news, monart received the 2018 ICO Awards at the 1st Blockchain Day in Paris, is selected among the best IA & crypto companies worldwide at the Malta Blockchain Summit Start-up Village in May 2019 (as in 2018), was recommended for purchase by Enigma Securities in London, is recognized among the best STO*, is rating 5 star by listico, and has inaugurated its Paris test Art Space with great artworks, video projections of 3D exhibition and 3D artist studios, augmented reality app on Artificial intelligence artwork creation and much more… and is receiving great press coverage worldwide including Forbes, CCN, Distributed, Hacked and more.
* monart is using a STO security token infrastructure even though it is named a VFA – Virtual Financial Asset – Offering under Malta Law.