Tint bags $600,000 for tech disrupting the way we buy paint

Tint-Rocky-Liang-DJ-Dikic

Tint co-founders Rocky Liang and DJ Dikic. Source: supplied.

Aussie paint-tech startup Tint has raised $600,000 in equity crowdfunding for its tech disrupting the home decor industry, changing the way people choose and purchase their perfect colour match.

Tint’s tech allows users to measure the colour of something and match it instantly. The exact right hue will then be delivered within an hour of the order.

An AR element also allows customers to measure how much paint they will need using their phones.

At the time of writing, Tint’s Equitise campaign has smashed its minimum target of $500,000 and is nearing the $600,000 mark.

The startup is headed up by co-founders DJ Dikic and Rocky Liang, who also run paint-tech company Pallette, which provides a ‘Shazam for paint’ product, allowing users to measure and match colours.

The business partners with paint providers to supply the customer with the colour they’re looking for.

Building Palette, Dikic and Liang gleaned significant insight into this industry and the needs of the end user, whether that’s professionals or hobbyist home renovators.

It became apparent that customers wanted a simpler way to not only choose their colours, but to purchase paint too, Dikic tells SmartCompany.

Going to a store and finding the right amount of the right paint for the right project can be “pretty nightmarish”, he adds.

They saw an opportunity to improve customer experience by taking the industry online.

Initially the founders tried to build this idea into Palette, but they met resistance from some of their existing partners.

Legacy players can be “pretty set in a certain way of working”, Dikic notes.

“They would rather not rock the boat.”

So the pair launched their own paint brand instead, and Tint was born.

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Tint paint products. Source: supplied.

Tint’s early success story

In the 18 months since the business launched, Tint has recorded more than $5 million in annualised sales.

The startup has attracted support from high-profile angel investors including Aconex co-founders Leigh Jasper and Rob Phillpot, BGH Capital co-founder Ben Gray and former McKinsey managing director Adam Lewis.

This funding will be used to expand beyond Melbourne, initially to serve Sydney and Brisbane and eventually to the rest of Australia.

The team is also considering new product categories, working to make home decorating in general more accessible, Dikic says.

“There’s a lot of opportunity out there.”

Trend towards convenience

Tint is disrupting what is still a pretty traditional industry, Dikic says, but the business plays into a broader shift towards convenience.

People want to shop online; they want their groceries delivered to their door and everything from dog food to toilet paper on subscription. It stands to reason that buying the paint to redecorate should be easy too.

“We felt really passionately that this was the inevitable future for this market,” Dikic says.

“A lot of it is simply just taking out the pain points … just because of the way, historically, paint has always been sold.”

The trick now is to leverage this tech to create change on a much larger level.

Tint’s success to date validates the founders’ original thesis, but having investors like Jasper and Phillpot involved has got them dreaming big.

“[Aconex] started off small … and eventually shifted the entire construction industry to an online model,” Dikic says.

The investors bring intangible value, he adds. Seeing that this has been done before by the very people backing your business is instrumental.

For now, the focus is on the Australian market. But the technology behind Tint provides an opportunity for growth on a global scale.

Tech can be easily exported, Dikic notes.

“That’s a way for us to accelerate the transition to online for the entire paint industry.”

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