Digital storytelling company Pass It Down has raised nearly $2m to launch Iconic Moments, in what it says is the world’s first NFT marketplace exclusively for museums and cultural organisations.
To launch Iconic Moments, Pass It Down has partnered with a network of art museums and archives to create NFTs (non-fungible tokens) of art, video clips, audio clips, and other artifacts sourced from the museums’ collections.
Expanding NFT industry
The Iconic Moments marketplace allows museums and archives to capitalise on the expanding NFT industry, which has grown from $200m worldwide transactions in 2020 to $2.1bn in the first quarter of 2021.
Iconic Moments will offer the opportunity for anyone to own a piece of art as an NFT while helping museums generate additional revenue and build digital engagement. The museum retains ownership of the original piece while the limited edition NFTs are generated from the original piece.
Iconic Moments is also incorporating energy efficiency into its platform, using carbon offsets and exploring the integration of blockchain platform Polygon.
“Over the past five years, Pass It Down has built relationships with hundreds of cultural institutions around the world and we have seen first-hand the devastation that COVID-19 had on museums, culture and the arts,” said Chris Cummings, founder and CEO of Iconic Moments.
Pass It Down’s clients include museums such as the Museum of Broadcast Communications, major brands such as Porsche and Procter & Gamble, and municipalities such as Portland, Oregon, Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Sarasota, Florida.
Exploring a new financial model
In November of 2020, the Pass It Down team of technologists, curators, executive directors, and artists began to explore what a new financial model for the cultural heritage industry might look like.
“We’re using the world’s newest emerging technology to innovate one of the world’s oldest industries.”
Iconic Moments’ seed funding round generated investments from VentureSouth, Cultivation Capital, Techstars, Red Stick Angels and Acadian Capital Ventures. This funding will support Iconic Moments’ growth, including hiring additional staff and enhancing the Iconic Moments blockchain marketplace.
The Iconic Moments marketplace will launch fully later this year.
About the author – Adrian Murphy
Adrian is the Editor of MuseumNext and has 20 years’ experience as a journalist, half of which has been writing for the cultural sector.