Timeless was founded with the goal of providing access to unique, limited-edition assets for everyone. To begin with, can you briefly explain what is behind the business idea and how Timeless Investments was founded?
Jan Karnath: Since February 2021, we have revolutionized the collectible asset class, which for a long time was only available to the very wealthy. Starting at €50 per share, everyone can invest in unique assets with us and take part in the boom of holdings and develop their value. I first became involved in fractional ownership about seven years ago. My enthusiasm for the topic was sparked in 2016 when I spent nights studying and analyzing white papers with a good friend. It was clear to me that this technology would create entirely new possibilities, and I decided to complete my education at Stanford University and then found Timeless Investments.
How does investing in collectibles work with Timeless?
Jan Karnath: First, we source, validate and acquire unique assets from specialized dealers, groups, individuals or auctions from all over the world. We divide the asset into shares so that our users can easily buy them digitally and in just a few steps. All transactions and proof of ownership are securely, reliable and traceable at all times on the blockchain. For optimum performance of a collector’s item, we aim to hold a period of 12 to 36 months for optimum performance. If users want to exit their investment before selling it, they can use the trading functionality to sell their shares to other users.
What principles and standards apply when reviewing and evaluating holdings? How is it ensured that the original is not counterfeit and that it is stored safely?
Jan Karnath: Our holdings are curated by experts and validated by data. We have a team of professionals dedicated solely to researching and analyzing potential assets. A myriad of factors are taken into account: rarity, cultural significance, history, authenticity, value, condition, and additional data-driven considerations. If the object does not meet our criteria 100%, we do not buy it. Once purchased, the assets are held and stored in a secure environment suitable for the asset of our choice.
What are the benefits of investing in collectibles with timeless?
Jan Karnath: With Timeless, we make it possible for everyone to invest in valuables and thus participate in developing their value. With our business model, we are democratizing an asset class that for decades was only available to the very wealthy – ordinary consumers often lack access and often the capital to invest in rare watches, sneakers or limited vehicles. There is often also a lack of experience to evaluate individual investment opportunities carefully enough and to reduce risk through adequate diversification. We take it all away from our users. We also take care of the storage, maintenance and insurance of the collector’s items – thus offering you a worry-free package, so to speak.
How do you assess the further development of the market and where do you see the company in the next five years?
Jan Karnath: With Timeless, we want to become Europe’s leading platform for investments in collectibles, in short: Coinbase’s collectibles base. With Timeless, everyone can own a piece of contemporary history and invest in the things they love and understand. In order to achieve this, we will not only increase our scale significantly, but also expand our position as the Europe-wide leader in collectibles coding – all the way to the market leader and inclusion. We want to focus more on the unique collectibles that distinguish historical landmarks.
How do you rate the chances of success in investing in collectibles?
Jan Karnath: In the medium term, holdings will prove themselves as the third relevant asset class along with cryptocurrencies and stocks – especially for the 20-40-year-old generation, who, due to low interest rates, rising inflation and high property prices, are much more diversified than their parents’ generation. When it comes to aging and prosperity care topics to be put in. The Knight Frank Wealth Report also confirms that the collectibles belong in the 21st Century portfolio. For example, the prices of rare classic cars have increased by six percent in the past ten years and by 193 percent in the past ten years. The situation is similar when it comes to the performance of specialty wines, whose prices have increased by 127 percent over the past 10 years.
With its Art & Collectibles category, Timeless breaks down the barriers of accessing collector’s items to small investors. How important is blockchain technology in democratizing the art market in particular?
Jan Karnath: Blockchain is the backbone and enabler of our business model and allows us to store proof of ownership transparently, decentralized, and securely. Increased transparency through blockchain technology and liquefaction Digital art are important drivers, in particular art market It will continue to democratize. In my view, the blockchain with the underlying technology can be described as an essential bridge between the art market and wealth management, a catalyst for democratization. Especially the web-savvy young target group is driving this development and is increasingly establishing itself as a financially strong group of buyers.
Timeless recently sold its first NFTs. How can these digital holdings be classified?
Jan Karnath: We’re currently seeing a shift in alternative investments: Generation 20 to 40 also attribute value to smaller asset classes such as NFTs. So far, only a few early adopters have been able to invest in premium NFT chips and share in their performance. With Timeless, anyone can now enter a new asset class that will become increasingly well established. The rise in popularity of NFTs has led to a wave of entirely new buyers of the world’s most prestigious auction houses. For example, Christie’s states that 75% of this buyer base are brand new collectors with an average age of 42.
The numbers show that we are in a paradigm shift driven largely by younger, newer collectors, who are also identifying collectibles—sometimes entirely new—which they also attribute to value.
Image Sources: Timeless Investments