Pembroke VCT, the venture capital trust focused on building the brands of tomorrow, has made an initial investment of £1 million into Smartify, the app named by New Scientist as the ‘Shazam and Spotify for art’.
Smartify, founded in 2015 by four friends; Anna Lowe, Thanos Kokkiniotis, Nick Mueller and Ron Rijmoet, helps people make meaningful connections with art whilst providing museums with next generation digital technology.
Partnering with over 160 museums worldwide, the app instantly identifies two million digitised artworks and has achieved the status of the world’s most downloaded museum app, with over one million downloads.
Pembroke’s investment follows Smartify’s notable 300% growth in the past year, having successfully adapted to deliver online arts education during the pandemic, and provide digital support for museums globally as they reopen. It has also established partnerships with world-class institutions including London’s National Gallery, The Smithsonian and the Belvedere Palace in Vienna.
Pembroke’s investment will be used to support international expansion, particularly in the US, and the evolution of the platform from an app-first experience into a multi-channel offering that supports online arts education and enables user friendly ecommerce.
Andrew Wolfson, CEO of Pembroke Investment Managers LLP commented; “The Smartify app is a truly unique product enabling millions of people worldwide to meaningfully connect with art, whether in a gallery or from home during the pandemic. Since launch five years ago, Smartify has established itself as the leading app for galleries and art lovers alike and we are very excited to see the launch of the new web platform and to support Smartify in its next stage of growth”.
Anna Lowe, Co-Founder of Smartify added: “This is a huge step forward for Smartify and we’re delighted to see the hard work of our team result in achieving this milestone. This first institutional fundraise will facilitate expansion worldwide and will be crucial in allowing us to deliver rich arts education and storytelling online.”
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