Launched last year at San Diego Comic-Con, Madefire aims to be both a publishers and platform for developing next level motion comics/future comics/whatever you want to call them. And now, in traditional start-up fashion. they’ve just announced a $5.2 million round of funding, which was led by original funder True Ventures, with participation from Anthem Venture Partners, Crosslink Ventures, Correlation Ventures, former Apple SVP Sina Tammadon, former Macromedia chairman Bill Woodward, entrepreneur and investor Richard Seet, and Hollywood attorney Gary Stiffelman.
Techcrunch has all the analysis, and comments from founder Ben Wolstenholme.
“The world is expecting more than just a scanned PDF,” he said. “Why wouldn’t you want to tell a story that’s designed for the screen? That’s really how simple our business plan is.”
In addition to the features that Madefire already offers, Wolstenholme suggested the platform could also help connect comics to other media — parts of IDW’s Star Trek and Transformers comics, for example, could link to relevant content from the movies, TV, and more, turning them into “the pulse of that story world.”
The story also points out that Madefire publisher/platform combo is unusual, and raised some doubts among investors. But Wolstenholme defended the set-up, saying it allows them to be a true lab for different approaches and models.
Madefire has been a success as far as the tech end goes, but it hasn’t exactly set the world on fire with its content, despite the prestigious line-up of creators it fielded at the start. Proof that you have to stick with it to get a plan to work…a process made significantly easier with $5.2 million to work with.
Madefire, creator of the 5-star rated Madefire App for iOS, announced today it has closed $5.2 million in Series A funding. The financing was led by True Ventures, with participation from Anthem Venture Partners, Crosslink Ventures and Correlation Ventures. Several notable angels, passionate about the intersection of technology and entertainment, also contributed to Madefire’s Series A round — including Sina Tammadon [former SVP of Applications at Apple Inc.], Bill Woodward [Ex-Chairman of Macromedia], Richard Seet [media Entrepreneur and investor], and Gary Stiffelman [renowned Hollywood attorney]. The funding follows a seed round of $1.1 million completed in October 2011, also led by True Ventures.
Madefire’s recently announced partnerships with several top comic book publishers have brought more established titles to startling life in the Motion Book format. The company will use the capital to continue to grow its unique marketplace with a continuous flow of original weekly material exclusive to the Madefire App and online. IDW, Top Cow, Boom and iTV Studios America are using Madefire’s technology — which embraces the native capabilities of mobile devices — to bring an immersive experience to global franchises such as Star Trek, Transformers, My Little Pony, and The Darkness. Expect more big publisher announcements soon!
“As reading rapidly moves to digital devices — people expect more than just scanned in books,” said Ben Wolstenholme, CEO of Madefire. “We’ve built a touch-publishing platform that creates Motion Books — an immersive reading experience. I’m stunned at the team we have behind us — from WordPress, Apple, Macromedia, Flipboard — people who live at the intersection of technology and media; people who have built large scale platforms to empower storytelling.”
Madefire has built a first-of-its-kind cloud-based publishing tool for creating Motion Books. Motion Books are books with words, pictures, sound, motion and interactivity. Through its new partnership with deviantART — the largest online creative community in the world with over 28 million users — artists and writers can create and publish to the new Motion Books category.
You can read Motion Books now at http://www.deviantart.com/motionbooks/. And join this group for access to the Motion Book Tool motionbooktool.deviantart.com.
“Madefire will truly empower the next wave of great storytelling by providing a platform where creativity is allowed to flourish, engaging all of the senses and transforming the reading experience,” said Toni Schneider, CEO of Automattic, creators of popular blogging platform WordPress.com, and venture partner at True Ventures.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.