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Tattoodo: Pursuing the Tattoo Culture in the Digital Era


The tattoo culture evolved over the decades, but still, this emerging industry relies on the old viva voce method. People who want to get a tattoo have to go asking around their friends. But, those who were stuck with their parents in a new town had nowhere to turn. Needless to explain that turning to your parents for a tattoo is never an option.

Therefore, Mik Thobo – Carlsen, Johan Plenge, and Ami James joined and decided to step up and bring the tattoo industry through the digital prism.

Tattoodo is a platform where artists can promote themselves by putting their artworks on the site where interested clients can pick their favorite local tattoo artist. Tattoodo also pursues another dream- breaking the stereotypes of inked skins. They consciously write their stories where they celebrate tattoo art and artists.

Their revolutionary ideas and stubborn determination in their mission made them one of the best tattoo start-ups in the world.

Mik and Johan’s Portraits

Mik Thobo – Carlsen was born and raised in Denmark. As a child, Mik was the one extraordinary child in the class that everyone wanted to be friends with. During his adolescence, he was a turbulent Danish rebel who loved to hang out with crazy people. He was an intellectual but always believed that what matters the most was spending time with great people and living our lives above all.

Johan Plenge was born and raised in Denmark. As a child, he was very curious about the world, but what fascinated him the most were numbers. Johan spent his high school days in Oregard Gymnasium in Denmark - a high school for mathematicians. His adolescent years were filled with lots of friendships and handing out, but never putting his school chores aside. After his high school graduation, he chose to major in business and administration.

The Creative Hemisphere

Mik Thobo-Carlsen was the creative hemisphere of this idea. He is a true artist with an interest in art and the meaning of art, capable of seeing the world in better sight. He decided to dip into the world of philosophy, so he enrolled at the University of Copenhagen. He studied the fertile field of art and philosophy, where the concept of time, the problem of existence, concerns about limited language, and the definition of art were carefully nurtured.

This entire package shaped him as a person with a deeper and better understanding of the world. Also, this led him to discover new areas like IT and Media Science, for which he got his Master’s degree from IT University of Copenhagen. As an accessory to his rich education, in 2017, he attended a training program abroad with a key focus on Corporate Governance, Board strategies, and management.

The first company that takes a fair portion of his career line is called Mitoca. This company is an angel investment company that covers fun projects. The second company where he is a board member up to present is Play 31. It is a non-profit organization that collects footballs for children in developing nations and organizes football competitions for former child soldiers in Sierra Leone and Liberia. After these two start-ups, where he still finds time to manage them, he co-founded Tattoodo.

The Logistic Hemisphere

While Mik was the creative, Johan was the logistic hemisphere. Even in his early twenties, when most people are lost and don’t know which road to take, Johan was quite determined. Straight after college, he started his start-up journey. To be precise, Johan started as a co-founder when he was still a junior student. The first company he co-founded worked on an operating system dedicated to senior workers. The operating system was supposed to help older workers with no prior expertise with computers to get started. The device was offered to local governments to assist their senior employees in gaining access to the internet.

Later on, he co-founded a senior’s community which helped them in improving their computer skills. After college, he was doing his best to teach older people how to cope with computers and provided better working conditions. Later on, he co-founded AidOnline that is an online fundraising company. In 2009 he co-founded Pagegangster that is an online service that converts PDF into interactive flipbooks.

The Brain and Functions of the Company

When these two founders met their ideas, it was like creating a 100% functioning brain. Therefore, They’re both equally essential. Ami James, a world-renowned tattoo artist with multiple tattoo start-ups under his belt, was not in the picture initially, but as soon as he heard about the initiative - he joined on board.

Tattoodo was established in 2016 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The team of few people who worked along Johan and Mik created the slogan Tattoo Everything! Their idea was to defy the misconceptions about the tattoo culture and lifestyle and support artists who go through a laborious process during the apprenticeship until they ink their first clients. Thus they created their start-up to be the first tattoo platform in the world. On their site, artists can promote themselves and get more appointments from clients. As for the clients, they can see the verified and closely inspected artworks of the tattooists. After they pick their favorite tattoo artist, they can easily book an appointment.

The Ink Community of Tattoodo

Tattoodo is more than a platform. It’s a community where people get educated about the ink industry and the artists. The Tattoodo team is breaking the stereotypical chains of the tattoo culture that have been lingering for years. With their articles, they show the users that inked skin is a story of a lifetime.

Five years later of the launch, the company invested in its website content and social media presence. Their mission to become the largest ink society dedicated to the tattoo culture marked its point. After a strike on Facebook, Tattoodo attracted more than 45 million followers on social media.

In 2016 they marked another strike, this time Tattoodo, enhanced their mission with the launch of their app. After this announcement, the number of users grew up to 40%.

Company’s Framework

There is a total of 12 investors that back Tattoodo. The lead investor, who helped Tattoodo stand on its feet is Seed Capital. The most recent backers are Daniel Ager and Christian Stadil. Initially, the company started working with 11 employees back in 2016. Today the company has 50 employees and many other artists representing the company.

During their angel round, the company raised approximately $450 thousand. During the last fifth round, the company raised $5.3 million, and in total Tattoodo, counts $20.3 million.

Surviving the Turmoil of COVID-19

When the pandemic broke in the notorious 2020, every business suffered. But, the tattoo industry was on the verge of oblivion. One of the precautions against the pandemic was 2-meter social distancing. You can imagine what this did to a business that works on close contact. During the first month, it was manageable somehow, but afterward, many tattoo artists complained that they were facing bankruptcy, while the ones that started sometime before 2020 were already closed.

Losing their artists and dealing with something that the world hasn’t seen in centuries made the Tattoodo team hopeless and helpless. Their pure mission was to educate people and promote their artists, but now they had to witness their fellow artists’ businesses close. Knowing that they had to save the ship from capsizing, they started doing masterclasses to make some money and help the artists. Then they offered their site completely free to all artists and studios. Next, they began featuring artists and their commissioned work because it was the only income for them. They partnered with 20 prolific artists to demonstrate to the community great techniques.

The Tattoodo Robin Hoods didn’t stop there, as they partnered with several industry vendors to offer artists discounts on necessary supplies like ink or rent.

The Tattoodo team was afraid, but they never succumbed to the pressure of COVID-19. After what they did to support the tattoo artists in the most difficult times, they proved one crucial thing – the tattoo community can thrive and go beyond the traditional methods of expression.

Tattoodo Today

Although they faced severe damages from the COVID-19, they never let it push them down. Slowly but surely, Tattoodo survived the pandemic and continues to pursue its mission. Currently, they have over 2 billion monthly content views and more than 20 million followers on social media. They have an impressive number of Tattoodo Ambassadors, comprised of the most talented tattoo artists from around the world. With over 50 employees and HQs in Copenhagen and New York, they’re only just begging to change the world.

The tattoo community is large and supportive, and it’s just taking its swing. Tattoos are art and the Robin Hoods of Tattoodo are making sure the skeptic world knows it!