In the ever-evolving landscape of global content consumption, there are rare instances of Indian founders leading the charge. One such pioneering venture, building a global consumer tech platform for webcomics, is Dashtoon, aiming to democratize the creation of digital comics and enable storytellers worldwide to create illustrated content with ease and speed.
When I first met the Dashtoon team, pitching their webcomics idea, I had no clue what webcomics were, let alone an understanding of the global market. In my mind, comics were merely a childhood hobby. After all, how large could the market for kids’ superhero comics potentially be? Fast forward one year, I’m hooked on Dashtoon comics. It’s now my bedtime ritual to view episodes of Secret Billionaire, Betrayed Bonds & Epic Evolution. The stories are so gripping that I even paid for it, a rarity for a baniya like me who still uses friends’ OTT accounts.
I’ve now experienced our initial thesis first-hand – quality content trumps format. People love to consumer good quality content regardless of the medium – be it short videos, audio stories, podcasts, or webcomics. What Dashtoon is building can serve as an alternative to Netflix.
In the past 10 years, media consumption on mobile in the US has grown exponentially from 45 mins/day to a staggering 4 hrs/day, fuelled by new & diverse content formats. Webcomics, we believe, will take away some share of this screen time.
But why webcomics? And why now?
Visual stories are much more engaging as it fuels imagination and offers a better experience. Webcomics serves as a natural progression for readers of text stories & novels. And a mobile-based, vertical scroll format fits well within existing user behaviour. While video is the most engaging format to consume, the cost of production is insanely high. Not every piece of content can be produced in video. Additionally, the time to create webcomics is significantly less than creating videos.
Thanks to GenAI, the complexity of webcomics production has significantly reduced. This not only enables the conversion of high-quality content into comics at a lower cost and faster pace, but also creates the opportunity for building a UGC platform, making it mainstream.
Simplifying comics creation is one thing, but building this business still remains complex. Figuring out & licensing content for US consumers, driving global user acquisition & retention and tackling technical challenges in consumer-facing GenAI apps demand an all-star team. In Sanidhya, Lalith & Soumyadeep, we found a deadly combo of content licensing expertise, US consumer GTM experience, & tech muscle for a GenAI-focused consumer app. Having collaborated for a year, I’m certain that this is the team from India to build this business.
Don’t take my word for it, check it out yourself. Download the Dashtoon app here.