Selom Agbitor co-founded tattoo aftercare brand Mad Rabbit with Oliver Zak, who was in his senior year at the university and had challenges caring for his tattoo. Zak found that petroleum jelly solution did not help him with his scabs after getting tattoos, according to Entrepreneur. Agbitor and Zack decided to formulate a more natural, clean and vegan solution for tattoo healing.
“So we ended up ordering a bunch of ingredients from Amazon and a crockpot and trying recipe after recipe after recipe going off of the feedback of my mom’s apothecary experience,” Zak told the outlet. “That product [a spot moisturizer for tattoos with a shea and cocoa butter base] ended up being the product that we ran with for the first two years.”
After graduation, Agbitor and his business partner decided to turn their side hustle into a full-time job. As part of this, he and Zak moved to Los Angeles where they interacted with manufacturers and also doubled down on Facebook ads and brand-building through paid media.
What started as a side hustle brought in nearly $3 million in revenue within two years. In 2020, they appeared on “Shark Tank”, where the business landed a deal of $500,000 for a 12% stake with Mark Cuban.
“I know my parents are going to be really happy,” Agbitor said at the time, according to CNBC. “I’m going to be an inspiration to my friends back home in Ghana.”
According to the Entrepreneur, Mad Rabbit made an additional $500,000 in sales following the appearance of Agbitor and his business partner on Shark Tank. This also propelled the company to the VC space including being introduced to Acronym Venture Capital, led by general partner Joshua Siegel.
In March this year, Mad Rabbit announced a Series A investment of $10 million led by Lucas Brand Equity with Mark Cuban, Acronym Venture Capital, and H Venture Partners. This quadrupled the brand’s valuation to $56 million.
In addition, their products are now in retail giants like Walmart. The brand said recently that it was collaborating with Walmart on “a kind of tattoo roadshow,” where Agbitor and his team travel to Walmarts across the U.S. to “get people excited to come get tattooed, hopefully in the parking lot.”