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
Battle of the Sexes Interview
Emma Stone and Steve Carell Talk About Reviving the ‘Battle of the Sexes’ for the Big Screen

One of the biggest sporting events in history is now one...

New ‘Amityville: The Awakening’ Clip Takes us into the Basement

The original Amityville movie effectively terrified audiences forty years ago. The story...

Elizabeth Blue
‘Elizabeth Blue’ Examines Mental Illness in Powerful, Inventive Ways

People from all walks of life deal with mental illness. Despite...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
5.7/10
Review – Drive Girls (PS Vita)

So what do you get when you take the robots out...

Nights of Azure 2
Koei Tecmo America Details Demon-Slaying Action For Nights Of Azure 2: Bride Of The New Moon

Survive the environments of Nights Of Azure 2: Bride of the...

SteelSeries North
SteelSeries Announces Partnership with FC Copenhagen, Nordisk Film and Their Top-Ranked Counter-Strike Team, North

Three of the Most Successful Danish Brands Team up to Accomplish...

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
viz
VIZ Media Announces New Digital Manga Content For August Update

VIZ Media details digital manga updates for August highlighted by the...

viz
VIZ Media Announces New Manga and Literary Acquisitions At Anime Expo

VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), a premier company in the fields of...

9.0/10
Supergirl Makes Contact in ‘Supergirl Being Super’

Title: Supergirl Being Super #4 Writer: Mariko Tamaki Artist: Joelle Jones...

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
Yu-Gi-Oh Code of the Duelist Special Edition Debuts 9/22/17

Yu-Gi-Oh Code of the Duelist Special Edition Releases Tomorrow 9/22/17 introduces brand-new...

Yugi's Collector Box Review
I Can’t Believe The Cards That Come In This – Yugi’s Collector Box Review

I have been out the duel monsters game for awhile, but...

atari
New Atari 2600/Sega Genesis Systems from AtGames Now Available

Classic Gaming Lives Again with Release of New Atari 2600/Sega Genesis...

Arena Football Automotives MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Mayweather and McGregor Previous Fights Now On Demand on Cable, Plus Interviews, Workouts and More

From iN DEMAND – New York, Aug. 17 – Before the...

Rumble on the Water 2 Delivers Punching Power

July 29, 2017 – Long Beach, CA – The Queen Mary...

UFC Star Jon ‘Bones’ Jones Releases Emoji App – BonesMoji

From BonesMoji – Los Angeles, CA., July 27, 2017 – One...

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...?
No Preview
Comics on the Can – Double Dragon

Comics on the can Double Dragon Writer – Dwayne McDuffie Pencils...

CULTURAL JUNK DRAWER SDCC 2017 86.3% TRUE RECAP!

A totally true recap of the most important geek cultural even...

Comics on the Can: Schick Hydrobot and the Transformers

Written by John Barber, Pencils by Steve Kurth, Inks by Juan...

Event News Event Reviews
The Third Annual ‘BeerX’ from 91X in San Diego Featured Sunburns and Beer Goggles

This past Saturday, I attended the 3rd annual BeerX, presented by...

anime film festival
LA-Anime Film Festival Kicks Off to Celebrate 100 Years of Anime Films

Los Angeles Anime Film Festival (LA-AFF), presented by international creative company...

stan lee
Extraordinary: Stan Lee at The Saban Theatre

Comedian, Nerdist CEO, and podcast extraordinaire Chris Hardwick will lead a roster of...

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
Lahna Turner’s ‘Limeade’ is a Hilariously Haunting Comedy Album

Many people are roll their eyes at the idea of musical...

Prince’s ‘Deliverance’ Reminds Us of Who We Lost

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

Sabroso Fest, How can you go Wrong with Beer, Tacos and Lucha Libre!?!(Photo Gallery)

The Sabroso Craft Beer, Taco and Music Festival sponsored by 95.5...