INKR, a Singapore-based digital comics platform, has raised US$3.1 million in a pre-Series A investment headed by Monk’s Hill Ventures.
The round also included Stu Levy, the founder and CEO of TokyoPop, and David Do, the MD of VI Management.
The funds will be used to enhance the company’s content library, boost product development and marketing to extend its user base, and hire more employees.
INKR envisions a future where all comics are globally available to readers and where artists may take their comics to any reader in the world. It was founded in October 2020 by three Vietnamese comics fans, Ken Luong, Khoa Nguyen, and Hieu Tran.
Readers may access more than 800 localised manga, manhua, webtoon, and visual novels across many genres on any device thanks to the company’s AI-driven customised content recommendation engine.
Through its unique AI localization technology and publishing capabilities, the platform also assists comic publishers and artists in bringing their material to a worldwide audience.
Image Comics, Kodansha USA, Kuaikan, Mr. Blue, and TokyoPop are among the more than 70 publishers and authors with whom INKR has partnered. These businesses may use INKR’s capabilities to quickly localise material and distribute it to comics fans in over 100 countries and regions.
For its Comics app, the platform now offers English, as well as Japanese-English, Korean-English, and Chinese-English localization, with ambitions to add more languages in the future.
According to the firm, monthly active users have increased by 200 percent.
INKR taps into a $10 billion market. Meanwhile, according to the Worldwide Comic Book Industry 2021-2026 Research Report, the global conventional comic book market was only worth US$4 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 3.3% from 2022 to 2027.
“Comics have the power to transport us to entirely new worlds, teach enduring values, and nurture our imagination. We believe that everyone should be able to read any comic even if they do not know the language. In reality, not everyone can enjoy comics easily and officially due to the prohibitively high cost of localization and complex licensing process for content creators and publishers. So we want to change that,” said Ken Luong, CEO, and co-founder of INKR.
The set of tools for publishers also includes analytics, intelligent tailored feeds, and various monetisation methods like as ad-supported, subscription, and pay-per-chapter.