The Swedish tech-savvy tattoo business is coming to a city near you.
Have you got an inky secret?
You might hide yours under a sleeve, but today it’s never been more socially acceptable to have tattoos.
Nearly 40% of millennials have at least one tattoo – and many fans have multiples.
Plus, there’s money to be made, with more than $1.65bn spent on tattoos annually in the US alone.
It’s no wonder smart businesses like Inkbay are capitalising on the market – making it easier for both artists and enthusiasts alike.
Inkbay is an online tattoo studio on a mission to support both tattoo artists and tattoo lovers.
Professionals can use the platform to promote their designs, work and brand, while consumers can browse the database, find and book the perfect tattoo.
“Currently, the tattoo industry is really underrepresented, with very little online presence outside of Instagram, and no place where they can connect,” CEO Fredrik Glimskar told The Memo.
“Tattoos have never been more popular, yet information about artists, designs, and costs are still hard to find.”
If you’re looking for a tattoo, you no longer have to trog from studio to studio to find what you’re looking for, in your price range.
Inkbay has a rotating catalogue which hosts around 1,000 tattoo designs at any one time from around 100 Stockholm-based tattooists (who also offer bespoke designs).
“Choosing a tattoo can be pretty overwhelming, especially if it’s your first one, so we want to streamline the process for them and ensure they are at ease with the decision they have made,” says Glimskar.
“With Inkbay, all information is completely transparent and in one place, making it hassle-free for consumers to compare designs, prices, and studios and choose the right tattoo for them.”
It’s an approach that’s clearly working, with 34% of customers returning after their first purchase to book another tattoo.
Tattooists firstly benefit from the exposure that Inkbay allows. “There are some incredibly talented artists out there who struggle to get the recognition they deserve,” says Glimskar.
But they’ve also taken the hassle taken out of bookings, so that artists can concentrate on what they enjoy.
“We hope to take the stress away for artists, taking care of the all of the admin and marketing, allowing them to just focus on what they do best – drawing, designing and tattooing.”
While the business operates by taking a 15% cut from bookings (these are listed at the same price they would be in the studio), the support is still enough to help artists go fully freelance: “You only tattoo what you want to tattoo, your own art,” says Glimskar.
What’s more, access to search data allows them to keep on top of current trends, meet demand and make more money.
“Let’s say that 3000 people are looking for variations of a black panther design,” Glimskar explains. “We can let artists know what is being searched for [so] they can draw and post designs that fit with this theme, catering to consumer demand and increasing their chances of making a sale.”
Inkbay is already expanding rapidly in Sweden (it’s in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö), and has the UK firmly in its sights.
Just last year the company raised 1.5m Swedish Krona in seed funding from Zenith Ventures, and in April 2017 it raised an additional 4m to accelerate a London launch.
It’s currently looking for investors to close another funding round by the end of 2017. In five years it hopes to have a global presence.
“In this day and age, we book everything online, train tickets, hotels, even haircuts, and so we wanted to bring this industry online too,” says Glimskar.
“We want Inkbay users to walk away from their experience with us feeling informed, and completely satisfied, safe in the knowledge that booking through Inkbay is secure, and all tattooers are professionals working from legitimate studios.”
Are you ready to peruse the Expedia of inking?