Exit announcements, media coverage, team updates, and more
February 10, 2021
Inkbox, an Upside Member company founded in 2015 by brothers Tyler and Braden Handley, has been acquired by BIC, leading to Upside’s first exit in 2022, and the 6th in just 12 months. Inkbox is a temporary tattoo startup, and sells tattoos made with plant-based ink that last one to two weeks. The acquisition of Inkbox will enable the startup to achieve its full scale-up potential, through accelerated international expansion and operational efficiencies. The deal will help BIC, which has long leaned on its classic products, such as ballpoint pens, lighters and razors, cater to younger generations that are more interested in self-expression.
“When I raised the idea of an equity pledge with the team and board back in 2017, there was absolutely no push-back. It was a no brainer for us. We’ve since worked with SickKids on several other projects both personally and as part of Inkbox, like our BE BOLD campaign. Now that we’ve been acquired by BIC, it feels incredible to make this donation to a cause that we’re so passionate about. Pledging our Upside to SickKids made so much sense, and I would encourage companies to pledge as early as possible.
– Tyler Handly, Co-Founder & CEO Inkbox
Inkbox is donating their Upside to SickKids Foundation in support of Tech4SickKids, an initiative that unites Canada’s technology and innovation community with a goal of raising $25M. Their donation will help drive big-data solutions and a modern new hospital to support artificial intelligence’s limitless possibilities.
“Philanthropy, especially at SickKids, is what makes the hospital go from good to great. Without philanthropy we cannot invest in state-of-the-art equipment, we cannot hire and retain the world’s best medical leaders and train those of tomorrow, and we cannot build a new hospital that Canada and the world needs. We’re really grateful for Tyler and Braden to be a part of this”
- Colin Hennigar, VP, Major Gifts at SickKids Foundation
The Upside Foundation's philanthropic model enables founders of early-stage, high-growth companies to build social responsibility into their business by donating small portions of equity to charity. Inkbox’s acquisition marks Upside’s 15th liquidity event, and has enabled the Foundation to facilitate almost $3 million in charitable donations.
“Our mission is to enable Canadian startups to align their business success with a greater social impact. Tyler and Braden at Inkbox have always been an integral part of the Upside community, being both highly innovative and committed to supporting their community. It’s been exciting to be along for the ride as they grew over the years, resulting in this impressive donation to an organization that is so close to their heart."
– Maria O’Reilly, General Manager, The Upside Foundation of Canada
Congratulations to Tyler, Braden and the team at Inkbox on this milestone, and your unwavering commitment to socially impactful business!