France’s BIC has agreed to acquire Inkbox, a Toronto-based direct-to-consumer semi-permanent tattoo company. The deal reflects an upfront payment of $65 million and a deferred consideration based on Inkbox’s future sales and growth. It is expected to close in Q1 2022. Founded in 2015, Inbox raised financing from Maveron, Founders Fund, Cassius, Golden Ventures, KDWC Capital, Flight Ventures, Novel TMT and others.
Clichy, France – 18 January 2022 – BIC announces today that it has signed an agreement to acquire 100% of the outstanding shares of Inkbox, a leading direct-to-consumer semi-permanent tattoo company headquartered in Toronto, Canada. The transaction is structured with an upfront payment of 65 million USD (57 million euros) and a deferred consideration based on Inkbox’s future sales and profitability growth. The acquisition is contingent upon fulfilling certain customary conditions. The closing is expected before the end of Q1 2022.
For the last 75 years, BIC® has met consumer needs and desires with high quality, simple, and affordable products and has become one of the most recognized global consumer goods brands. With the launch of its Horizon plan in 2020, BIC evolved its Stationery Business to “Human Expression,” going beyond traditional writing instruments into Creative and Digital Expression to meet changing consumer demand and accelerate growth.
As consumer attitudes shift towards self-expression, individuality, and creativity, the acquisition of Inkbox will expand BIC’s offerings in the Do-It-Yourself Skin Creative category, which already includes BIC BodyMark, the temporary tattoo marker. Following on from the successful integration of Rocketbook, the smart reusable notebook brand acquired in November 2020, Inkbox further enhances BIC’s existing portfolio of recognized consumer products, where different brands address diverse types of consumer groups. With its unique ability to customize, Inkbox further strengthens BIC’s DTC business and reinforces existing digital and social media engagement capabilities.
This acquisition will elevate BIC to a leadership position in the Do-It-Yourself Skin Creative industry. This fast-growing category is powered by the increasing desire of young consumers to be more fluid with their appearance and express themselves by using their bodies as a changeable canvas. In the US today, more than 20% of the 13 to 45 years old consumers are either buyers or interested in buying Do-It-Yourself Skin Creative products3. Driven by the increasing frequency of purchase and product innovation, the category4 is expected to exceed 1.5 billion USD in 2031, exhibiting growth at 13%+ CAGR.
Created in 2015 by Tyler and Braden Handley, Inkbox doubled its size over the last two years and reached 27 million USD (24 million euros) sales in 2021. Shipping hundreds of thousands of tattoos a week to more 80 than countries, with 67% of sales in North America, Inkbox had a Gross Profit margin exceeding 60% in 2021, and management expects to be EBITDA positive in 2024.
The 0.8 million active customers5 are primarily Generation Z females willing to showcase their uniqueness with interest in Fashion, Beauty, and Travel. Through Inkbox, these consumers can create their own designs or choose from a wide range of exclusive tattoos created by artists. In 2021, a freehand tattoo marker was added to the product range, allowing consumers to draw their tattoos directly on their skin or help a friend. As Inkbox continues to innovate, an online subscription service will be launched in 2022.
Inkbox supports an increasing community of tattoo artists and develops limited-edition drops in collaboration with celebrity artists and brand partners. They partner with social media influencers to amplify brand awareness and increase consumer engagement. The most recent collaborations include an officially licensed collection by popular K-Pop Group BTS, and new creative collaborations with the Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat and the “InstaPoet” Rupi Kaur. Their successful DTC model builds on a robust social media engagement strategy. Inkbox has 1.5 million followers on Instagram and is ranked the 12th largest beauty brand on TikTok.
Inkbox’s success is driven by a unique and sustainable consumer-centric model. The high-quality semi-permanent tattoos are designed and manufactured on-demand, in-house. Easy to apply, they last one-to-two weeks and use a patented, natural plant-based ink formula. BIC is the ideal partner to help the company achieve its full scale-up potential, through accelerated international development, primarily in Europe and Latin America, extended online presence through different e-commerce platforms and the potential expansion into retail distribution. The joining of companies will provide new options for consumers, from those looking to test out permanent tattoo designs, to a new image of message for a night out.
Inkbox will continue to run as an independent subsidiary of BIC, allowing its team to preserve its unique and creative culture.
A world leader in stationery, lighters and shavers, BIC brings simplicity and joy to everyday life. For more than 75 years, the company has honored the tradition of providing high-quality, affordable, essential products to consumers everywhere. Through this unwavering dedication, BIC has become one of the most recognized brands and is a trademark registered worldwide. Today, BIC products are sold in more than 160 countries around the world and feature iconic brands such as Cello®, BIC FlexTM, Lucky Stationery, Us. TM, Soleil®, Tipp-Ex®, Wite-Out®, Djeep, Rocketbook and more. In 2020, BIC Net Sales were 1,627.9 million euros. The company is listed on “Euronext Paris,” is part of the SBF120 and CAC Mid 60 indexes and is recognized for its commitment to sustainable development and education. It received an A- Leadership score from CDP. For more, visit about.bic.com or follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube.