Temporary tattoo platform Inkbox has secured $1 million in seed-stage financing. The round was led by U.S. venture capital firm KGC Capital and was joined by several angel investors, including Jeff Probst, host of reality television show Survivor and actress Alison Sweeney. Founded early last year by Tyler Handley and Braden Handley, Toronto-based Inkbox is the creator of a two-week temporary tattoo made from an organic, fruit-based formula. It has to date shipped over 50,000 tattoos to customers in over 100 countries. Inkbox will use the funds raised to grow sales channels, develop its technology, and expand partnerships with artists.
inkbox Inks $1 Million in Funding to Help End Tattoo Regret
Jeff Probst and Alison Sweeney among investors backing temporary tattoo platform
TORONTO, ON, July 21, 2016 – inkbox, the company behind the world’s first two-week organic temporary tattoo, today announced they’ve closed $1 million in a seed funding round led by venture capital firm KGC Capital. The round also included participation from angel investors Marc Bell and Joe Roos, and several celebrity investors, including Jeff Probst, Emmy award-winning host of Survivor, and Emmy award-nominated actress Alison Sweeney. The company plans to use the investment to expand sales channels, focus on research and development for their tattoo technology, and expand partnerships with artists.
“We created inkbox because we loved the look of tattoos, but didn’t want to regret our choices in 30 years,” said Tyler Handley, co-founder, inkbox. “Clearly we weren’t the only ones with that problem. We’ve shipped 50,000 tattoos to customers in over 100 countries, and now we’re excited to have a team of investors on board who believe in the idea and will help us scale.”
inkbox tattoos are made from an organic, fruit-based patent-pending formula that takes 15 minutes to apply. Co-founders and brothers, Tyler and Braden Handley spent months researching temporary tattoo methods before finding indigenous tribes in the Panama jungle who, for thousands of years, have been tattooing their skin with the pulp of a fruit. They worked with these local tribes to bring the ancient form of tattooing into the future. Instead of sitting on top of the skin like a traditional temporary tattoo, the ink penetrates the top most layer of skin, changing its colour after 12-24 hours.
The company launched the tattoo as a Kickstarter campaign in July 2015, raising $275,661 from 7,644 backers, well beyond their goal of $20,000. Once their campaign had reached $100,000 in funding, inkbox committed to building a web platform that would allow users to purchase their own designs. Part of this seed financing will be invested into building this web platform, called inkbox [CREATE]. It also marks the first startup investment for Survivor host Probst.
“As host of Survivor it’s important that I stay in touch with trends and culture shifts, and I’ve noticed tattoos are becoming increasingly popular, especially among millennials,” said Jeff Probst. “When we’re shooting Survivor I often think, ‘They’re going to regret this tattoo when they’re 50, why isn’t there a less permanent way to tattoo?’ I’m also health-conscious so the fact that it’s organic was another reason why I made inkbox my first start-up investment.”
“I love that inkbox lets me have a variety of choices, all of the fun – without the permanence. People of all ages can explore their personal creativity and celebrate special events with temporary body art,” said actress, author, and producer Alison Sweeney.
inkbox donates a percentage of every sale to the Darién Initiative, an organization that provides community and agricultural support to the Embera-Wounaan and Kuna tribes of the Darién Gap, Panama. The fruit that inkbox derives its ink from primarily grows in the jungles of the Darién Gap, and the initiative ensures that the company is sustainably harvesting fruit and giving back to the community. inkbox’s proceeds have allowed the tribes to purchase their first solar-powered refrigeration system.
inkbox tattoos retail between $19 USD and $26 USD, and are available for purchase at www.getinkbox.com. The company also plans to expand to in-store sales in the next year.
inkbox is the world’s first, two-week temporary tattoo. Made from an organic, fruit-based formula that takes 15 minutes to apply, inkbox designs look and feel just like a real tattoo, without the commitment. Based in Toronto, Ontario, inkbox was founded by brothers Tyler and Braden Handley in February 2015. Since then, inkbox has shipped over 50,000 tattoos to customers in over 100 countries around the world. inkbox donates a percentage of every sale to the Darién Initiative, which supports local indigenous tribes in the Darién Gap, Panama.
For additional information, contact:
Morgan Craig, 88 Creative
PR Account Manager
Photo courtesy of Inkbox