Storyboarder is a tool and platform that enables anyone to create, buy, and sell webcomics.
If you have an idea for a story, you can use Storyboarder to tell it by adding characters to a scene and typing in dialogue - the tool will automatically generate the shots you need to tell your story. You can post episodes of your story to the platform as part of a series, and other people can buy the episodes to read them.
In East Asia, the webcomic (or digital manga) industry is a $12B market - and it’s rapidly growing to the rest of the world. People are addicted to reading webcomics. For example, the largest company in the space, Webtoon, has 100M MAU and generates $1.2B in annual revenue. The problem is that the variety and appeal of webcomics is constrained by the number of webcomic artists - you need to know how to draw to make a webcomic.
Storyboarder is a 3D scene editor. You pick a scene. You add characters. You type in what they say. Storyboarder makes the panels for you, and then you can edit them as much as you want. We have a world class rendering system, so everything ends up looking absolutely beautiful!
Storyboarder is also a platform for posting your comics as episodes in series. After your readers read 5 of your episodes, they can pay the equivalent of 20 cents to read additional episodes.
I, (Charles), was working on making a movie. I wanted the story to be good, but I had no experience. Pixar uses storyboarding as a tool to iterate on their stories. They can see each version of their movie and rapidly iterate on it. Being the creative / engineer that I am, I made a storyboarding tool so I could create storyboards without having to draw. I released the tool, Storyboarder, and 700K people use it to storyboard movies and tv shows like Black Panther, Cruella, I, Tonya, and Modern Family.
We were ready to start shooting my movie in March of 2020 - then the pandemic hit. We realized we wouldn’t be able to make the movie. So I focused on Storyboarder. Working with some of the best writers, directors, and storyboard artists in the world, I saw a bunch of fantastic storyboards for movies that would never be filmed. They were cancelled because of covid. I realized that there are tons of stories that never see the light of day because they can’t get made into movies.
Being depressed about COVID, I spent time on Clubhouse, where I met my cofounder Joe. We talked a lot about the world of online fiction and webcomics and how it relates to storyboarding. We learned that Webtoon is huge and makes tons of money, but very few of their stories appeal to us, or many people I know. Webtoon creators are a particular type of person that need to know how to draw.
I used to make videogames. I started OMGPOP (YC06). We built 35 games and a game called “Draw Something” We sold the company for $200M. Joe was running a team of ML engineers at Google and worked on computer vision at Waymo. So we thought we could combine forces to build the next generation of storytelling with online 3D tech, game tech, and AI.
Joe and I thought, what if we make a tool where anyone can make webcomics without having to draw? The stories created would appeal to so many more people. We did the math: 3 out of 10 Americans buy e-books: 100M people X $12 (ARPPU on Webtoon). That’s $1.2B. 10X Globally: $12B!
✅ Making stories is important and fun!
✅ Huge Market: $12B.
✅ Built in 650K Users.
✅ Previous YC06 videogame company with success: $200M Exit. #29 Top YC Exit.
✅ Investors include: David Karp (Tumblr Founder), Andrew Kortina (Venmo Founder), Jonathan Glick (NYT), Andy Artz (Best man in the world), other top secret celebs and good looking rich people.
Various gingers: Laura (Joe’s partner), Joe, some freakishly tall guy, and Charles.
🚀 Do you want in on this rocket ship? Interested in using our tool? 💌 Email us and we’ll add you to the waitlist or set up a call: email@example.com