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Vertex Puts $4 Million into Art Site

[London, ENGLAND] Venture capital firm Vertex Management has put $4 million into U.K-based art site eyestorm which sells limited-edition photographs of modern art.

The latest round of funding brings the total raised by eyestorm to $11 million. A substantial amount has already been spent on designing one of the Internet's more intriguing Web sites, featuring some spectacular portfolios of modern art.

Frankie Tan, senior vice president of Vertex, said that eyestorm's concept of bringing art by well-known names into homes across the globe was an ingenious one. He insisted that eyestorm had proven management and what he called "online market leadership."

"In expanding our e-commerce portfolio we have been careful not to succumb to the recent craze of Internet funding, but focused on companies with solid business models," said Tan.

The venture capital arm of Singapore Technologies Group, Vertex has now invested over $600 million in more than 200 companies. Of these, 56 companies have been fully divested or listed in U.S., Europe, Taiwan and Singapore Stock Exchanges.

One of the artists featured on eyestorm is Andy Goldsworthy, who gained national publicity last week when his controversial artwork of giant Scottish snowballs was placed in the streets of London after being kept in cold storage since the winter. Visitors to eyestorm.com can see photographs of this project and other Goldsworthy sculptures priced at between $500 and $10,000.

Don Smith, chief executive officer of eyestorm, said the capital infusion of $4 million would enable expansion of the marketing infrastructure and allow eyestorm to work with more artists.