Japanese publishers Kodansha, Shueisha, Shogakukan, and Media Do have invested in the website MyAnimeList. The investment comes as a response to MyAnimeList issuing new shares from their company.
MyAnimeList is an online compendium that allows users to track the anime, manga, and light novel series they’ve seen or read. Viewers can also access information such as voice roles and other contributions have made on specific titles.
The issuing of shares and subsequent investment was announced in a press release from MyAnimeList and can be found below.
MyAnimeList Co., Ltd. (MyAnimeList) announced today that the company has decided to issue new shares increasing its capital by a total of 1,200 million yen. Furthermore, Kodansha Ltd., SHUEISHA Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and MEDIA DO Co., Ltd. have decided to collectively underwrite half of this amount (600 million yen) through a third-party allotment.
Background of Financing
MyAnimeList endeavors to be a comprehensive platform for overseas fans to connect with and discover new Japanese anime, manga, and related media. In the two years since its acquisition, Media Do has launched official apps for iOS and Android; hosted numerous industry and community events; and prioritized improvements to the website’s aging infrastructure to increase security and stability under growing access numbers. As of February 2021, MyAnimeList supports 18 million monthly active users—an 80% increase from March 2019.
With recent breakthroughs in digital services to provide translated anime and manga in near real-time, straight from Japan, these unique media styles are gaining attention worldwide. To keep pace with a dynamic industry and the demands of growing international interest, MyAnimeList has raised funds in its endeavor to strengthen the connection between overseas fans and the industry in Japan.
About the Future
MyAnimeList will actively invest the funds obtained from this financing to accelerate expansion of its platform, while striving to:
- improve accessibility for new and returning fans;
- promote richness of information exchange and user interaction;
- increase robustness of the service under increasing traffic loads; and
- advance interconnection between overseas fans and content holders/businesses.
Immediate development plans towards these goals include:
- Infrastructure changes to increase speed and support advanced UI/UX features
- Multi-language support for the anime/manga databases and user lists
- iOS/Android app advancements: e.g. dark mode, manga lists, social functions, etc.
- Upgrading user communication tools to increase information sharing