Orange raises $19M in pre-series A to boost localization effort of Japanese manga titles

Image credit: Orange

Tokyo-based Orange, the Japanese startup behind an AI localization system for manga titles, announced on April 7 that it has raised 2.92 billion yen (about $18.9 million) in a pre-series A round. This round was led by Globis Capital Partners (GCP) with participation from Japanese manga publisher Shogakukan, ANRI, SBI Investment, JIC Venture Growth Investments (JIC-VGI), Miyako Capital, Chiba Dojo Fund, Mizuho Capital, and Mitsubishi UFJ Capital, and GFR Fund.

This follows Orange’s previous 250 million yen funding back in July of 2023. Of the investors participating in this round, GCP and Chiba Dojo Fund followed their previous investment. The latest round brought the company’s funding sum up to approximately 3.17 billion yen (about $20.5 million). The company intends to use the funds to expand the scale of its manga translation business and to spread Japanese manga globally.

Orange was founded in April of 2021 by Shoko Ugaki. Prior to launching the company, he was managing smash-hit game titles at Japanese gaming company Colopl (TSE:3668), such as Wizard and Black Cat Wiz and White Cat Project. The company turns untranslated manga titles into English using a proprietary localization support tool. With this latest funding, the company aims to increase its current pace of English translations by five times to translate 500 books per month. The company also plans to launch an e-manga store called Emaqi in the U.S. to distribute translated titles this coming summer.

In this particular vertical, another Japanese startup Mantra has been offering a multilingual translation engine called Mantra Engine, related business services, and the Langaku English-learning app. Mantra has so far secured 230 million yen ($150 million) from Japanese manga publisher Shueisha, University of Tokyo’s Innovation Platform (UTokyo IPC), Deepcore, and other investors.

via PR Times