VIZ Media Invests In Anime Start-Up Company KITSU

kitsu

Kitsu, a startup changing the way the community experiences anime, announced today that it has raised six hundred thousand dollars in a seed round between San Francisco, California-based entertainment company VIZ Media, LLC, and Manila, Philippines-based entrepreneur Bernard Chong. Kitsu will use these funds to build out its world-class content discovery platform at kitsu.io, led by Kitsu founder and CEO, Josh Fabian, who started the project under the Hummingbird name. Josh previously was Lead Designer, Groupon Stores, and Lead Designer, oBaz.

“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,” said Josh Fabian, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Kitsu. “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.”

As part of the investment, Bernard Chong as well as Brad Woods, VIZ Media’s Chief Marketing Officer, will join the Kitsu board. VIZ Media’s Rob Pereyda, Vice President of Business Development, led the deal at the company and will serve as Senior Advisor.

“We’re thrilled to be working with Josh and the Kitsu team to bring this content to a wider audience,” said Brad Woods, Chief Marketing Officer at VIZ Media. “The features that are being rolled out with the new platform are really exciting, and we believe they will drive engagement for the anime industry as a whole.”

“Discovery is one of the great challenges in the entertainment world today,” said Bernard Chong. “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.”

Built atop the modern web frameworks Ruby on Rails and Ember, the Kitsu platform (formerly Hummingbird) will remain open-source and be available to other entrepreneurs to use to drive their own discovery and social capabilities. The seed round investment from Bernard Chong and VIZ Media coincides with a ground-up rewrite and redesign of the Kitsu platform, now placing a greater emphasis on the social component of a user’s experience.

While a key selling point of the platform for many users has been the functionality to track the anime and manga they’ve seen and are planning to see, “Version 3” of the platform heavily focuses on the social aspect, leveraging a robust machine learning engine to surface content users will be more likely to enjoy, including not just one-to-one, show-to-show recommendation pairings, but sophisticated taste-based content cohorts (interest clusters).

About Kitsu

Kitsu is a content discovery platform that helps anime and manga fans track, share and discover more of what they love. Through a world-class recommendation engine layered with social, machine learning and more, the company is able to go beyond the traditional “what to watch next” and instead become a central part of peoples’ lives. With an open source platform and a thriving developer community, it is a one-of-a-kind player in the content discovery space not just for anime and manga, but the entertainment business in general. It actively shares its technology with the community and aims to enrich the lives of fans as well as help the business grow. More information is available at kitsu.io.

Shop Deadpool tees in our officially licensed Marvel store!

Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
Ben Wheatley and the Cast of ‘Free Fire’ Talk About the Film’s Lengthy Shootout

Put a bunch of scumbags in the same room and give...

Bill Finger Finally Recognized in ‘Batman & Bill’

For decades Bill Finger got the finger from several of his...

Unforgettable
‘Unforgettable’ Has Moments of Memorable Camp

The jilted ex-lover subgenre of thrillers endures despite the fact there...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series Now Available

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series Now Available from...

Injustice 2 Gear
Injustice 2 Gear Trailer Explains How Every Battle Defines You

Injustice 2 Gear Trailer explains the game’s sub-title and also the game’s...

Shift Happens Review
9.0/10
No Other Way to Say It, This Game is the Shift – Shift Happens Review [Xbox One]

Everyone goes through shift, but it’s always easier to handle shift...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Bring Back Memories of Prince in Full Vivid Color

They say time heals all wounds, but really you just become...

Five Things You Should Know About the Valiant Summit

The Valiant Summit came has left a huge impact on the...

9.5/10
Batman 21, The Wait is OVER!!!!

Title: Batman 21 Writer: Tom King Artist and Inker: Jason Fabok...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
EIROA The First 20 Collection has begun Shipment on the Colorado

From C.L.E. Cigar Company – April 21, 2017 (Miami, FL) –...

WWE and Loot Crate Reveal Their Latest Mystery Box and Surprise!

The Game, Triple H has revealed the next wave in the...

Evil Geniuses Special Edition
SteelSeries teams up to create Evil Geniuses Special Edition Gear

SteelSeries teams up to create Evil Geniuses special edition versions of...

Arena Football Automotives MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Full Bellator 178: Strauss vs Pitbull 4 Weigh-In Results & Photos

UNCASVILLE, CONN. (April 20, 2017) –The official weigh-ins for Bellator 178:...

Bellator 176 and Bellator Kickboxing 5 Weigh-In Results and Photos

All Photos Credited to Bellator and Lucas Noonan. TORINO, ITALY –...

Combate Americas Adds Women’s 105-Pound Bout for the April 20 Card in Tucson, AZ

NEW YORK – April 6, 2017 – Combate Americas announced today...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Adult Continuity Issue Nine – Ten Inch Mutant Ninja Turtles

The porn parody has a long, hard, turgid and difficult to...

DC’s New Aqualad is ‘3-Pages of Gay’

3…2…1…Okay, now that the Social Justice Warriors who have only read...

12 Incredible Assyrian Women Around the World (Reposting)

March commemorates Women’s History Month in the United States of America,...

Event News Event Reviews
Romy and Michele Reunite on Stage

This summer something exciting will be happening… Romy And Michele’s High...

Blackheart Burlesque
Artistically Exotic and Downright Sexy – Suicide Girls Blackheart Burlesque

Your cosplay fantasies come to life, but way better and sexier...

Danzig’s Blackest Of The Black with Ministry, Suicidal Tendencies, Atreyu & More

This year marks the first Blackest Of The Black Destination Festival....

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Gaming Uncensored: Year in Review 2016

A look back at the year in gaming.

Gaming Uncensored Roundtable: December 2016

December’s roundtable discusses story in games with Chad, Josh, and Spencer....

Gaming Uncensored: Podcast #349

Jamie reflects on some of his time with the HTC Vive....

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Prince’s ‘Deliverance’ Reminds Us of Who We Lost

On Friday, April 21st, it will be one year since we...

As Balto Heads on Tour with their Latest Album ‘Strangers’

Balto is a quick on the trigger, Folk, Country, Blues, Gospel,...

Lebanese Englishwoman, Nadine Khouri Lulls you with ‘The Salted Air’

There is something fitting about a woman who’s last name translates...