This Danish startup is digitally disrupting the $50 billion tattoo industry
- The global tattoo market grew 19% last year, up from 15% the year before.
- Tattoos are a 50 billion dollar industry, and counting.
- It started with a phone call to Ami James of Miami Ink.
- Danish entrepreneurs Mik Thobo-Carlsen and Johan Plenge wanted to find out and launched Tattoodo three years ago, as a social platform where people could find and share tattoo designs.
- The first tattoo is the second most popular search subject, after personal health.
Tattoodo is the world’s largest online tattoo portal with 15 million monthly visitors, 40 million Facebook fans, and two billion monthly content views.
@RihardsSavickis: This Danish startup is digitally disrupting the $50 billion tattoo industry – and it’s already huge –
Tattoos and social media are two major phenomena of our time, so why shouldn’t they mix? Danish entrepreneurs Mik Thobo-Carlsen and Johan Plenge wanted to find out and launched Tattoodo three years ago, as a social platform where people could find and share tattoo designs.
Nowadays, Tattoodo is the world’s largest online tattoo portal with 15 million monthly visitors, 40 million Facebook fans, and two billion monthly content views.
How can it be so huge already? Consider these facts about the tattoo market:
It started with a phone call to Ami James of Miami Ink.
Neither of the two Danes are tattoo experts themselves, so they did the obvious. They got in touch with the most illustrious artist in the business, Ami James of Miami Ink.
“We didn’t know Ami, but we just called him and after some initial back and forth we hit it off. Ami saw how customers showed up with bad designs from all over the place when there were plenty of really skilled tattoo artists out there, like Chris Garver. We wanted to bring out the true value in the art. Through a social marketplace for tattoo designs,” says Mik Thobo-Carlsen, founder and chairman.
Tattoos are a 50 billion dollar industry, and counting. Tattoodo just moved to New York to stay on top of it.
Tattoodo’s latest move is opening offices in New York, one of the epicenters of the tattoo boom. It started with Ami James and Miami Ink which premiered in 2005 and since then the number of people with two or more tattoos has doubled.
“The global tattoo industry revenue is estimated at over 50 billion dollars tattoo annually and growing with double digits. But the businesses themselves are still very traditional. Tattoo artists usually operate from small shops, relying on foot traffic and word of mouth. There was really nothing of real worth or magnitude online when we started three years ago,” Thobo-Carlsen explains.
Following the advice of Ami James, Tattoodo reached out to tattoo artists and the business is now endorsed by the top 100 in the world, including iconic names like Mike Rubendall and Chris Garver. But the list of famous backers doesn’t stop here. Daniel Agger, the Danish Liverpool FC soccer legend is the first and major investor in Tattoodo.
Soccer legend and investor shows the way on Facebook.
Recently, Agger sat down with Ami James and added two new tattoos declaring his undying love for Liverpool. The retired soccer star had two liver birds tattooed onto his fingers, just below the YNWA (‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’) already inked across his knuckles.
“We streamed the tattooing on Facebook and got 1.5 million views. It was one of the first times, we tried streaming that way and we will certainly be doing that again,” Thobo-Carlsen says.
Content views are paramount for Tattoodo.
Experimenting with new formats and platforms is essential to the business model.
“It does not really make sense to talk about specific platforms or media. That is why content views is an important parameter for us. Our focal point is the content, that has to be 100% faithful to the community. Our business is lead generation. In the long run we plan to produce high quality content without any commercial messages,” the founder and chairman explains.
Tattoodo has raised around $4 million up until now, and they are in the final stages of closing another round. High profile investors include Andy Chen, CEO of Aspiro Group, and Jimmy Maymann, CEO at The Huffington Post.