In an unusual move, ComicBlitz, a startup digital comics subscription service offering access to comics and graphic novels for a monthly fee of $7.99, is looking to raise $1 million in new equity investment via WeFunder, an equity crowdfunding platform.
WeFunder is a crowdfunding platform that allows unaccredited investors—essentially anyone with at least $100 to invest—to make investments in new ventures. WeFunder was founded in 2011 and has been used to raise about $16 million for about 110 startups.
WeFunder investments are a bit different than using Kickstarter, where donors are essentially purchasing a service or product. WeFunder investors can’t resell their investments, and voting rights are unlikely. However, many WeFund campaigns offer direct communication with the company’s leadership.
As part of its WeFunder campaign, ComicBlitz has revealed that it has about 5,500 registered users, information usually considered proprietary. The company also has subscribers in 133 countries.,
Like other crowdfunding campaigns, ComicBlitz offers its investors a variety of rewards based on the size of their investments.
The ComicBlitz WeFunder campaign has a minimum investment of $250 (you'll receive a subscription to ComicBlitz) that escalates in steps to $2,500 (investors get a lifetime subscription and a 30 minute Skype call with the ComicBlitz cofounders). The rewards culminate at the $25,000 investment level (which gets you a lifetime ComicBlitz subscription and a 15 minute Skype call with acclaimed comics writer Mark Waid). If a company does go public, investors are then free to sell their shares.
ComicBlitz co-founder and CEO Jordan Plosky said, “We chose WeFunder due to its domination in the emerging trend of equity crowdfunding, and its ability to help our fans directly join in the future of our company’s growth." (PW interviewed Plosky about the growth of the startup subscription service at New York Comic Con in 2015).
The service plans to use the investment to add new features, new publishers, new content and to "streamline the user experience,” according to ComicBlitz CTO and cofounder Greg Weiss. ComicBlitz is also looking to debut a self-publishing portal for indie comics creators, allowing them upload new content available exclusively to ComicBlitz subscribers. Content, Weiss said, would be approved by ComicBlitz
ComicBlitz is an independent comics subscription service that launched in 2015. Its competitors include Amazon’s Comixology Unlimited subscription service, Marvel Unlimited and Archie Unlimited. Scribd, which also offered access to comics and graphic novels, discontinued the comics service in late 2016.
The service offers subscription access to about 5,000 digital comics and graphic novels from about 29 comics publishers, including such houses as IDW, Abrams ComicArts, Valiant, Dynamite, Lerner and Capstone . The site does not offer access to any content from Marvel or DC Entertainment, the Big Two of American superhero comics publishing.