Imagine a world where the artworks on your walls can move and speak to you…
Well, no need to. Raknida is already bringing that world into your home!
Created by Insecta Studios, Raknida (pronounced ‘rak-nee-dah’) is an art-tech online marketplace on a mission to provide high-quality and affordable wall art that inspires people, supports the economic advancement of young African artists, and fuses art with tech experiences that open up unique opportunities for everyone globally.
In a conversation with the CEO, Anthony ‘Anth’ Ezeokoye, he described Raknida as ‘building the future of wall art.’
Studies have shown that spaces influence people’s emotions, energies and even lives. For example, dark places can make one feel small, rooms with minimalist décor can help people think clearly, etc. In the same vein, just like with music, visual art can inspire, connect people, drive one to achieve their goals, transform entire spaces, and much more. Following this psychology, Raknida is helping people create spaces that enhance their lives for good.
AMPLIFYING AFRICAN ART THROUGH TECH & COLLABORATIONS
“I’m both an architect and an artist”, Anth stated, “I’ve been straddling both worlds of art and science for the majority of my life. One of the most fascinating things about tech for me is how it makes art scalable.”
In the global music industry, for example, there was a time when music was fully localized as artists could only perform live. Growth in their careers at the time was mostly dependent on the artiste’s capacity to stretch themselves physically, performing at various locations again and again and again. Then with gradual tech advances, streaming platforms now amplify the reach of music such that even young Afrobeats artists in Nigeria can be noticed and celebrated globally.
This scalability is what Raknida seeks to achieve with tech in the digital art industry. Raknida envisions a world where high-quality African digital creativity can easily be exported globally through wall art that inspires, tells stories and shapes the future in many important ways.
Currently, most African creators have to be their own promoters, business strategists, salespersons, accountants, etc. Such silos make it hard for the collective growth of the industry and for its value to be taken as seriously as it needs to be.
However, tech offers myriad opportunities for the advancement of African art through the collaboration and engagement of professionals across disciplines. As it is with a musical artist who has savvy producers, agents, streaming platforms, etc., that all contribute to the creation of a powerful body of work that attains global standards, Raknida intends to build an ecosystem that supports African creators and strategically positions the continent as a world leader in the wall art industry.
POSITIONING AFRICAN ART FOR THE FUTURE
There’s so much happening in the global tech space right now. There are speedy changes being adopted as the norm right before our eyes. With the growth of AI and similarly powerful tools, Raknida predicts that in the nearest future, art & tech will be almost inseparable. This makes it undeniably important for Africa to be efficiently positioned in the coming years.
For example, with the advent of NFTs, moving art and pictures have become a big thing. People are also exploring generative art, a process of algorithmically generating new art forms, colors, patterns, etc. with a computer, using rules dictated by the person creating it. Most current feature phones even have cameras that are Augmented Reality (AR)-enabled to give their users an extra layer of interactivity and smartness. This is where the future is headed.
There’s currently substantial demand for a means for people to enjoy NFTs and digital art in their physical spaces. AR is one of the tools adopted by Raknida to make this possible. Soon, from AR to smart frames and walls, regular or still art wouldn’t be enough for people anymore; the basic expectation will then be that every artwork will bring a more intricate experience to each viewer.
This is why Raknida is pioneering the growth and adoption of art-tech in Africa, bringing it to everyone through wall art that is both high-quality and affordable. By estimating what the future holds for global art-tech, Raknida is working to get Africa involved while the industry is still very young. So, though the brand is kicking off with familiar art tech such as printing artworks on materials like canvas, wallpapers, and art prints, it is positioning Africa to become a global force in the wall art industry.
SEED FUNDING & PARTNERSHIPS
Currently, Raknida is 100% owned and funded by Insecta Studios (which has also been bootstrapping itself since its incorporation in 2016).
The company’s dream for Raknida is big, so they are currently in the phase of strategically positioning the product for growth. They are making moves such as acquiring real estate slated to become a digital wall art hub in the nearest future, and seeking collaborations with local & international partners in relevant sectors including production, investment, promotion, manufacturing, etc.
They intend to raise their first round of investments soon and are open to conversations about this while driving the product to sell itself and carve its niche in the hearts of customers. The goal is to ensure that Africa gets a significant presence in the global wall art market in the nearest future.