Earlier this week, Tokyo-based startup Goopa announced that it received an undisclosed amount of funding from Japanese television network Fuji TV and Sega’s mobile gaming-focused division Sega Networks. Until recently, Goopa was best known for Anipipo, a service that allows users to crowdfund independent anime from up-and-coming artists.
The service was even backed by Hayao Miyazaki apprentice Kenji Itoso. The new investment, however, signals a shift away from Anipipo and toward Crowdrive – a crowdfunding platform for indie games that is scheduled to launch later this month. Tech in Asia sat down with Goopa CEO Hiroaki Taira to learn more about the changes taking place at Goopa. As for the shift from anime to gaming, Taira believes that anime fans and gaming fans fall into the same target group. “A lot of gamers watch anime and visa versa,” he says. Anipipo will remain in operation. The decision to launch Crowdrive comes from what Taira perceives as a lack of solid players in the regional crowdfunding market.
“Most people went to websites abroad like Kickstarter and Indiegogo [to fund games],” he says. “That’s when I approached Fuji and Sega and we all had the common idea that if we worked together, we could make the domestic gaming industry even bigger. Additionally, there’s no winner in this segment in Asia at the moment – since we have a strong base in Thailand, we believe we can expand through Southeast Asia easily.” Taira says the funding – somewhere in the ballpark of US$500,000, though he wouldn’t share an exact number – will be used mainly for hiring additional talent. “I was a one man team in Japan, with a couple guys in Thailand,” he says, “I just hired a marketer, two sales guys, and a Japanese designer. We’re also up to six in Thailand. We’ve been outsourcing the dev side, but now we will handle that in-house in Thailand.”
Read more: With investment from Fuji TV and Sega Networks, Goopa shifts gears to game-focused crowdfunding service http://www.techinasia.com/goopa-anipipo-crowdrive-fuji-tv-sega-networks-gaming-crowdfunding-funding/