It is not often that a business born of a hackathon goes on to have a notable amount of success, but Ukrainian startup InkHunter is looking to be one of the rare ones to break out.
Getting a tattoo can be a pretty rewarding experience for many people, but you naturally want to be quite sure about what you are doing before you go through with it, which is why these guys have created a cool little augmented-reality tool that enables you to sketch a design, or select one from a gallery, and then use the iPhone’s camera to see how that tattoo would appear on your body. In addition to simply displaying the design, the app also allows users to apply a handful of filters and to solicit the opinions of their friends through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
What is interesting about this startup is that they did not approach the business from a level of expertise, as CEO Oleksandra Rohachova tells me that neither she, nor co-founder Pavlo (no surname provided), knew how to develop an app, had experience with augmented-reality algorithms, had an iPhone, or even had a tattoo. Nonetheless, they took that experience in July 2014 and, with the help of mentors, launched an MVP in May 2015.
Upon hiring a developer and designer, the team behind InkHunter has rewritten and redesigned the whole app, unveiling the updated version 2 weeks ago. Rohachova tells me that the app, which is currently only available for iOS (although Android and Windows versions are coming), has been downloaded about 200,000 times, with about 150,000 of those downloads coming within the past month.
In terms of monetization, Rohachova would say that, while the app is free, they are partnering with tattoo artists, which may provide the artists with access to a significant group of potential clients.
The startup has declined to provide details on their funding situation.