Belgian digital art frame maker jumps on NFTs and raises over €1m

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Manufacturer of digital art frames based in the south of Belgium IONNYK raised over €1 million in a Series A funding round. Seeking to provide connoisseurs of digital art (read: NFT) with an elevated experience, unlike conventional electroluminescent flat panel displays, IONNYK uses technology e-paper that reflects ambient light and not only provides a wider field of view, but can retain images indefinitely without the need for electricity. The funding is intended to help the startup increase its international presence as well as the catalog of works to be exhibited.

“To achieve our goals, we must first strengthen our international presence. Then, we will redouble our efforts to develop and expand our collective of artists, which will allow us to considerably expand our catalog of works. Finally, it is important to optimize our production chain and develop new customer experiences to support our growth,” commented the CEO. Mathieu Demeuse.

Created by Mathieu Demeuse, Charlotte Dubois, Antoine Baudoux and Christophe Courcelle, through the use of e-paper technology, IONNYK can boast of being the first wirelessly 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 is said to last up to 12 months from a single charge.

Now, before you get as excited as I am about displaying your own artwork in this gorgeous format, think again. In addition to not providing any details as to how much the 4:3 ratio of 16:9 ratio screens will cost you (if you have to ask, can’t you afford it?) The owner, or should I say renter, of said screen has no way of presenting their own pictures.

Instead, IONNYK offers nearly 1,000 black-and-white digital photographs/artworks through a subscription service that the company likens to “Spotify art,” or by purchasing limited-edition/NFT works. Likewise, IONNYK, “wishes to allow its customers and the artists who are part of its collective to buy, sell and resell these NFTs which are exclusive to the platform”.

Conversely, and in this author’s not-so-humble opinion, IONNYK are perhaps better suited to more commercial contexts, as they also aim to facilitate home artist vernissages (which would presumably require typing and submission of an NFT?), temporary exhibitions, live events, etc.

However, that’s not to say all is lost with the IONNYK concept in a residential setting, as frankly there’s certainly a market for such a device in the homes of those who want a smart art collection (those who spin in time) , and can. and want to subscribe to a curated photojournalism series.

For example, the company highlights the next lunch of its Concept Story such as “Humanity’s First Steps on the Moon” or “Great Moments in Human History”, in which iconic photos (presumably in the collection IONNYK?How does it work??) will run on a daily/weekly basis every day and every week.

Series A funding of over €1m for IONNYK was provided by a Walloon fund WING and the members of the BeAngels network. In addition, two new investors, Noshaq and Invest.BW joined the cap table, alongside a number of undisclosed private investors.

“We are particularly 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 lastingly change the art sector,” commented W.IN.G. Nicolas Dhaene.

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