This Startup Drives Sales with Augmented Reality Tattoos
Inkhunter lets you take a tattoo for a test drive—before you make a permanent decision.
Born out of a 48-hour hackathon, InkHunter has found a place in the consumer-facing market of augmented reality. An impressive feat, as most extended reality businesses are finding greater success with business-to-business (B2B) models. Using augmented reality, the company’s mobile app allows users to try and buy tattoos.
From nimble beginnings—all the way to scoring a place in Y Combinator—the startup now rakes in about 34.1K site visits per month (according to SimilarWeb). Their app gets over 10 million clicks per month on the Apple Store. And current funding for the company sits at $160K.
One of InkHunter’s core features is the ability to take and share AR tattoo photos. This allows users to get opinions from friends on potential tattoo designs. This photo sharing functionality ended up being a huge part of the program’s success in app stores. We covered the importance of person-to-person value in our VR investing article, and this company certainly delivers.
But the team had their doubts along the way…
There was a point when they questioned whether or not to adopt a business-to-business (B2B) model. They did not expect the excitement from the tattoo audience required to sustain a business. However, they saw strong adoption from the tattoo community early-on. And so they decided to keep going after a consumer-focused model.
So how profitable can Inkhunter become?
The company estimates close to half of its user base has expressed a desire to get a tattoo within the next few months. And it got more than 500 booking requests in the first week of the “concierge feature.” By leveraging tattoo demand from app users, they will be able to charge a referral or membership fee to affiliated tattoo parlors.
In other words, some percentage of Inkhunter’s users will eventually raise their hand and say “Yes I want to get a tattoo.”
Then, Inkhunter can say “Great, we know someone who can give you a tattoo nearby.”
Tattoo parlors will be willing to sacrifice margin to Inkhunter, because the app will be a passive marketing tool that brings in more customers.
This is to say that Inkhunter has found a promising niche in augmented reality. And it’s a niche that could prove to be very profitable, so we recommend keeping an eye on them.
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