Southern-Belgium-based digital art frame maker IONNYK has raised over €1 million in a Series A funding round. Seeking to offer digital art (read: NFTs) connoisseurs an elevated experience, unlike conventional, light-emitting flat panel displays, IONNYK uses e-paper technology which reflects ambient light and offers not only a wider field of view but can hold images indefinitely without the need for electricity. The funding is slated to help the startup increase its international presence as well as up the catalogue of works to be displayed.
“To achieve our goals, we must first strengthen our international presence. Then, we’ll redouble our efforts to develop and extend our artist collective, which will enable us to considerably expand our catalogue of works. Finally, it’s important to optimise our production chain and develop new customer experiences to support our growth,” commented CEO Mathieu Demeuse.
Created by Mathieu Demeuse, Charlotte Dubois, Antoine Baudoux and Christophe Courcelle, through the use of e-paper technology, IONNYK can lay claim to being the first cordless connected art medium in the world. But surely there must be some form of electrical current involved? And the answer here is yes, via a battery that’s reported to have a life of up to 12 months from one charge.
Now before you get as excited as I was about displaying your own artworks in this gorgeous format, think again. In addition to providing zero details as to just how much either the 4:3 ratio of 16:9 ratio displays will set you back, (if you have to ask, you can't afford it?) the owner, or should I say renter, of said display has no way to feature their own imagery.
Instead, IONNYK offers nearly 1,000 black and white digital photographs/artworks via a subscription service that the company compares to an ‘art Spotify’, or by purchasing limited edition works/NFTs. Likewise, IONNYK, ‘wants to enable its customers and the artists that are part of its collective to purchase, sell and resell these NFTs which are exclusive to the platform.’
Conversely, and in this authors’ not-so-humble opinion, IONNYK is perhaps better suited to more commercial settings, as they’re also aiming to facilitate artists’ openings at home (which would presumably require a minting and submission of an NFT?), temporary exhibitions, live events, etc.
However, that’s not to say that all is lost with the IONNYK concept in a residential setting, as quite frankly, there is certainly a market for such a device in the homes of those who want a smart art collection (those that rotate over time), and can. and want, to subscribe to a curated series of photojournalism.
For example, the company points to the upcoming lunch of its Story concept such as ‘Humankind’s first steps on the moon’, or ‘The great moments of human history’, in which iconic photos (presumably within the IONNYK collection? How does that work?) will rotate on a daily/weekly bases every day and every week.
IONNYK’s €1+ million Series A funding was provided by Walloon-based fund W.IN.G and members of the BeAngels network. Additionally, two new investors, Noshaq and Invest.BW joined the cap table, alongside a number of undisclosed private investors.
“We are especially enthusiastic about the ambitious roadmap proposed by Mathieu. Its innovative, concrete and relevant application of Blockchain and IoT technologies has the potential to profoundly and permanently change the art sector,” commented W.IN.G’s Nicolas Dhaene.