A photo of digital comics platform INKR's team

Digital comics platform INKR’s group INKR is a digital comics platform that crosses cultural and language divides, making it possible for developers to reach international audiences with its proprietary localization innovation. Formerly bootstrapped, the company announced today that it has raised $3.1 million in pre-Series A funding

led by Monk’s Hill Ventures, with involvement from manga supplier TokyoPop founder and president Stu Levy and VI Management managing director David Do. Headquartered in Singapore with an office in Ho Chi Minh City, INKR was founded in 2019 by Ken Luong, Khoa Nguyen and Hieu Tran. The company states that because it introduced in October 2020, its month-to-month average users have grown 200 %. It presently partners with more than 70 content creators and publishers, including FanFan, Image Comics, Kodansha USA, Kuaikan, Mr. Blue, SB Creative, TokyoPop and Toons Household, and has more than 800 titles up until now, including manga, webtoons and graphic novels.

Luong, INKR’s CEO, informed TechCrunch that the platform will focus first on equated comics from leading international publishers, but plans to open to indie and small developers in 2022.

At the heart of INKR’s platform is its localization innovation, which the business says decreases the time invested in preparing comics for various markets from days to just hours.

“Comics localization is more than just translation. It is a time-consuming process with numerous steps including many people– file handling, transcription, translation, typesetting, sound impacts, quality assurance, etc,” Luong stated.

A screenshot with some of the titles on digital comics platform INKR

A few of the titles on INKR In addition to language, publishers also need to consider the distinctions between comic styles around the globe, including Japanese manga, Chinese manhua, Korean manhwa, American comics. Comics can be laid out page-by-page or utilize vertical scrolling. Some languages read from delegated right, while others go from right to left. Luong states INKR’s exclusive AI engine, called INKR Comics Vision, is able to recognize different formats and aspects on a comic page, including text, dialogue, characters, facial expressions, backgrounds and panels. INKR Localize, its tool for human translators, assists them deliver accurate translations more quickly by automating tasks like text transcription, vocabulary suggestions and typesetting.

Since localization is carried out by teams, consisting of individuals in various areas, INKR provides them with browser-based partnership software application. The platform supports Japanese-English, Korean-English and Chinese-English translations, with plans to include more languages. Some publishers, like Kuaikan Manhua and Mr. Blue, have used INKR to equate countless comic chapters from Korean and chinese into English.

INKR provides content developers with an option of monetization designs, including ad-supported, subscription fees or pay-per-chapter. Luong states the platform examines material to tell publishers which model will maximize their earnings, and shares a percentage of the revenue created.

INKR is vying for attention with other digital comics platforms like Amazon-owned Comixology and Webtoon, the publishing website operated by Naver Corporation.

Luong said INKR’s competitive benefits include the diversity of comics is offers and the affordability of its rates. Before releasing, it likewise bought information and AI-based technology for both publishers and readers. For instance, users get individualized recommendation based on their reading activity, while publishers can access analytics to track title efficiency based upon intake trends.

In a statement, Monk’s Hill Ventures basic partner Justin Nguyen stated INKR’s “exclusive AI-driven platform is dealing with discomfort points for publishers and developers who need to go worldwide and digital– localizing for numerous languages quickly and cost-effectively while also helping them improve reach and readership through analytics and smart tailored feeds. We eagerly anticipate partnering with them to satiate the huge demand for translated comics globally.”

Article curated by RJ Shara from Source. RJ Shara is a Bay Area Radio Host (Radio Jockey) who talks about the startup ecosystem – entrepreneurs, investments, policies and more on her show The Silicon Dreams. The show streams on Radio Zindagi 1170AM on Mondays from 3.30 PM to 4 PM.