Museums and galleries are suffering from a decline in visitor numbers as they rely on outdated means to engage with a digital savvy audience. As a result, they increasingly depend on generating alternative revenue sources to ticketing and government funding.

Smartify helps museums reconnect with visitors via its innovative virtual art guide. The free app enables audiences to scan and identify artwork using image recognition on their smartphone and benefit from more curated information.

Smartify has had significant traction, partnering with 35 museums and galleries, 16 of which are in the top 100 most visited cultural institutions in the world. These include The Wallace Collection, Royal Academy of Arts, The National Portrait Gallery, Rijksmuseum, The Met New York, State Hermitage & Pushkin in Russia, Accessible Art Fair Brussels and the Frieze Art Fair.

With 320,000 app downloads, 200,000 registered app users, and 28,000 unique monthly active users, the company has generated extensive press coverage, including from The New York Times and The Sunday Times, as well as noticeable support from the BBC’s Art Editor Will Gompertz.

Showcased by Digital Catapult, the company recently won the Best Digital Innovation of the Year Apollo Award as well as getting through to the final of The Duke of York’s Pitch@Palace competition. It has recently established a partnership with the Wikimedia Foundation to further enrich content insight and user experience.

Smartify is led by four co-founders with collective experience in art, technology and management. To date, it has raised £125k to date from angel investors and received a total of £110k in grants from Innovate UK and the European Commission Horizon 2020. 

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