E-Book Pub Bitway Invests US$750,000 in Crunchyroll
posted on by Egan Loo
Bitway, a Japanese distributor of electronic books and other online media content, has announced on Tuesday that it made a US$750,000 strategic investment in the American media-distribution website Crunchyroll. According to Bitway's announcement, the company aims to work with Crunchyroll to build a comic-distribution platform overseas, with an emphasis on the United States and Canada.
Bitway is a major distributor of electronic books, including manga, within Japan, and it intends to apply that "know-how" overseas. Japan's Toppan Printing launched Bitway in 1999, but Bitway was spun-off as a separate company in 2005. Established in San Francisco in 2006, Crunchyroll is best known for distributing anime and other Asian media content over the Internet to 6 million unique visitors every month.
Crunchyroll had announced at the Tokyo International Anime Fair this past March that TV Tokyo made a similar US$750,000 strategic investment for a minority stake in Crunchyroll. At the time, Crunchyroll had said that there are "negotiations currently underway with an undisclosed group of major Japanese book publishers" for a second round of strategic investment.
Update: More background information added.
this article has been modified since it was originally posted; see change history