Graphic India raises $5M to build a Marvel-like digital comic brand for India

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It’s been a while since we wrote about Graphic India, a brand new media startup that believes India ought to have its personal home-grown reply to cartoon empires like Marvel.

The 30-person firm been busy creating its IP and bringing its creations to audiences through movie and TV since we final coated it in 2015, when it raised $2.5 million from buyers, and now it has added to that conflict chest after pulling in an extra $5 million.

The brand new funding in Liquid Comics, Graphic India’s guardian firm, comes from current backers Begin Media and Backflip Studios’ co-founder Julian Farrior with 3One4 Capital and Zodius Capital founder Neeraj Bhargava among the many others that took half. Beforehand, the Chernin Group backed the startup through its Asia-focused CA Media fund.

After we final spoke to Liquid Comics CEO Sharad Devarajan, the corporate was on the cusp of transferring into mainstream media after creating IP and promoting comics through Amazon and different channels. It has since expanded additional.

Astra Pressure, its animated collection staring Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan, premiered on the Disney Channel, whereas one other collection — Baahubali: The Misplaced Legends — was broadcast on Amazon Prime and is about to be proven on Viacom18’s India-focused channel Colours. Away from conventional media it has additionally seen some successes on-line. 18 Days: The Mahabharata — a collection from prolific DC Comics’ cartoonist Grant Morrison — racked up seven million views throughout YouTube, Fb and net video companies.

Graphic India additionally ventured into cell with two library-based comedian e book apps, and it snagged a comic book e book and animation deal for smash-hit Indian movie collection Baahubali, which has made inroads within the U.S. market and damaged Indian field workplace information.

“It was actually India’s Star Wars second,” Devarajan mentioned of the 2 Baahubali movies. “Our job was to create an expertise that went past the display.”

Now the Bangalore-based firm is trying to construct on that progress with this new funding within the financial institution.

“We’ve been aggressive with digital comics, digital shorts and producing animated reveals,” Devarajan informed TechCrunch in an interview. “Now the problem is whether or not we will unlock that nice artistic potential within the popular culture area in India.”

That, he defined, will see the corporate give attention to extra movie, TV and net streaming offers whereas pushing its personal subscription-based digital comedian app, and searching into video games, merchandising and even augmented actuality and digital actuality alternatives.

AR and VR, he added, are long run visions that can take a while to succeed in giant scale audiences within the U.S., not to mention. Initially, nevertheless, the main focus is on extra reasonably priced gadgets like Google’s Cardboard challenge, however Graphic India is actively exploring the likelihood for higher-end gadgets, which have gotten well-liked as ‘VR arcades’ inside purchasing malls and different public locations.

Liquid Comics co-founder and CEO Sharad Devarajan

Graphic India’s enterprise mannequin is fairly totally different to the same old sort of startups that we write about on TechCrunch. The animation trade is primarily involved with two areas: creating unique IP — characters and collection — and placing that IP to work in movies, TV collection and merchandising.

The previous may be performed in-house, however the latter requires partnerships with writers, broadcasters, networks and extra.

Past constructing a platform for India — and one which Devarajan stresses will assist up-and-coming Indian expertise get the popularity they deserve — the intention is to make the model and its work globally seen. Which means bringing Indian content material, which is usually primarily based on mythology, past the Indian diaspora and to worldwide audiences the world over.

“Our mission is to rework India from outsourcer to supply,” Devarajan mentioned. “I believe we’re making big strides doing it.”



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