So, a little birdie told me this was huge news for more than a few people!
Earlier today, anime recommendation engine Kitsu announced that they raised $600,000 in seed funding. The company was able to attract investments from Viz Media, as well as Manila, Philippines based entrepreneur Bernard Chong.
As part of the deal, Bernard Chong and Viz Media Chief Marketing Officer Brad Woods will join Kitsu’s board. Viz Media’s Rob Pereyda, Vice President of Business Development, spearheaded the deal and will serve as Senior Advisor. Kitsu founder and CEO Josh Fabian will remain at the helm of the organization.
Kitsu intends to use the funding to further build out its platform.
The application originally launched in 2013 under the name “Hummingbird.” The project will remain an open source platform, available for other creators to use. The application itself is built on Ruby on Rails and Ember. Kitsu’s latest version saw a full rewrite and redesign, which places more emphasis on social components of the user experience.
Josh Fabian commented on the news, stating:
What makes me most excited about where Kitsu is going is how easy it’s going to be to connect with other anime and manga fans […] We’ve been very proactive and thoughtful about how exactly to approach the social component of anime, and we think what we have will continue to drive that conversation moving forward.
Investor Bernard Chong also offered comment, noting:
Discovery is one of the great challenges in the entertainment world today, […] With Josh, I see an incredible entrepreneur with the product chops to help drive consumption, monetization and just plain joy in the business, and to me that is exciting.
Source: Kitsu (Press Release)