Nowadays, it’s pretty easy to buy almost anything online. Books, meal kits, TVs, and even…tattoos?
Inkbox has announced a $13 million USD Series A funding round to help people make better decisions when it comes to getting tattoos. Maveron led the funding round, with Founders Fund, Cassius, Golden Ventures, KDWC Capital, Flight Ventures and Novel TMT also participating. The capital also includes $3 million USD of venture debt from the new-to-Canada Silicon Valley Bank.
With this announcement, Inkbox is also adding two new advisors to the company: Jill Braff, president of Brit + Co, and Divya Gugnani, co-founder of Wander Beauty.
The Toronto-based Inkbox allows customers to order semi-permanent tattoos right to their door that they can then apply at home to see if it would look good and fit well. The tattoos typically last eight to 18 days, and customers can either design their own tattoos or choose from thousands of different pre-made designs on Inkbox’s marketplace. Close to half of all millennials have a tattoo of some kind, while nearly one-quarter of thsoe with tattoos have expressed regret over getting one, so the market for Inkbox is clear.
“Tattoos have been a core part of human expression for centuries, but it’s only in the past decade that the industry has become mainstream,” said Tyler Handley, co-founder and CEO of Inkbox. We started inkbox because we felt tattoo enthusiasts were underserved by the current technologies available, and we saw a desire among consumers for a product that could evolve with them. Ultimately our goal is to help people make good tattoo decisions; whether that’s using inkbox to express themselves through semi-permanent body art exclusively, or to test out ideas for a lifelong piece.”
Inkbox will use the new investment to further expand their artist marketplace, create new ways of making and distributing their tattoos, and scale operations through new hires.
The company has exploded in popularity since raising a seed round from a group of angel investors in 2016. Inkbox has grown 1,000 per cent, grown to over 60 employees, and sold more than 450,000 tattoos to customers in over 150 countries.
“I was initially drawn to inkbox because of the company’s unique products, but we ultimately chose to invest because of its mission and vision,” said Anarghya Vardhana, principal at Maveron. “The team at inkbox is dedicated to removing the barriers to getting a tattoo, including health or religious limitations, and expanding an industry that’s been largely untouched for decades.”
Inkbox has also been improving some of their more elaborate offerings, including their 15-minute tattoo and freehand ink option. On top of this, things like coloured and shading ink, custom creation and other aspects have given customers a tailored approach to the e-commerce tattoo market.
Since launching, Inkbox has worked with organizations such as Vans Warped Tour and Toronto’s SickKids Foundation and has appeared on TV shows such as Stranger Things.