26-Year-Old Ariana Waller Raises $3.3M Seed Round For Mueshi, A Fine Art NFT Marketplace
Photo Credit: Mueshi
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26-Year-Old Ariana Waller Raises $3.3M Seed Round For Mueshi, A Fine Art NFT Marketplace

Non-fungible tokens (NFT) are all the rage, and the technology shows no signs of slowing down.

With so many artists and influencers launching their respective NFT collections, the following steps are clear — the industry has to have more options and diversity around how they are sold.

Ariana Waller — known as Ariana The Techie — is a Miami-based blockchain engineer and the owner and founder of Mueshi, Inc. The company launched to be a marketplace where users will be able to buy, sell, and fractionally invest in fine art NFTs.

In 2021, Ariana came up with the idea for this marketplace while listening to Jay-Z’s solo album, “4:44.” On the album, the Grammy-award-winning rapper had several songs discussing the importance of investing to build wealth. Immediately inspired, Ariana jumped into the metaverse to create this emerging marketplace.

“I was listening to ‘4:44’ for almost three hours a day. In a song, Jay-Z mentioned how he wanted to leave his art to his children as a part of his legacy. I immediately wanted to know how art keeps appreciating and growing in value from that point,” Ariana exclusively told AfroTech.

Paving Her Way

Ariana raised a $3.3 million seed round for Mueshi led by Harlem Capital to establish its place in the industry. Presight VC, CapitalT VC, music luminary and investor, Ted Lucas, Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, Black Venture Capital Consortium, and a cohort of additional strategic angel investors also participated.

“I was always inspired by Harlem Capital and their work in the finance industry. I took the owner’s picture and put it on my vision board, saying I wanted to be just like them. So, the fact that they are my investors is insane,” Ariana noted.

Courtesy of Mueshi

Mueshi was represented in the offering by a Miami-based team from Greenberg Traurig, P.A., led by John D. Owens, III, according to a press release provided to AfroTech.

“We met Ariana, the Company’s CEO, during Art Basel 2021 and immediately knew she had founded a unique venture”, said Henri Pierre-Jacques, Managing Partner of Harlem Capital. “Her passion, vision, and technical skills are so rare for founders. We are excited to be a part of the Mueshi journey.”

A Summer Launch

Mueshi has plans to have its marketplace available to consumers on the Ethereum and Solana blockchains later this year.

While NFTs are all the rage, Ariana knows that the marketplace she is building stands out for artists to contribute to this new and popular space.

“This is the perfect time to launch. There is a huge gap between the traditional art world and this new medium of NFTs. We are an artist first company and want to establish specific methods on how we continue to support and uplift artists,” Ariana shared.

Ariana plans to host Mueshi’s beta launch by presenting a 30-day fine art NFT exhibit in Miami, FL. The exhibit will take place in June 2022 and showcase a collaboration of works by Haitian-Jamaican artist Mark “ALT” Delmont.

In the meantime, Mueshi is opening its waitlist for people to join the virtual space.

Interested individuals can sign-up on the Mueshi website.