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E-Book Pub Bitway Invests US$750,000 in Crunchyroll

posted on by Egan Loo
Japanese distributor aims to build comic-distribution platform in U.S., overseas

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.

Source: animeanime.biz

Update: More background information added.

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