John Attanasio, CEO of Toonstar, mentioned his aim is to create “a new Cartoon Community.”
Attanasio and his co-founder Luisa Huang have been each executives at Warner Brothers, in order that they each labored underneath the identical company umbrella because the Cartoon Community. Attanasio mentioned the important thing to Toonstar’s method is to create animated content material that’s “mobile, snackable, interactive.”
Particularly, the startup’s iOS app permits customers to customise cartoon characters after which animate them utilizing their very own facial expressions. The ensuing cartoons might be livestreamed (each on Toonstar itself and different providers like Fb Dwell, YouTube Dwell and Musical.ly) and viewers can work together by including their very own animations, similar to dropping an anvil into the scene.
This will remind you of animojis, the emojis animated by facial recognition technology that Apple announced last month. Nevertheless, Attanasio mentioned the 2 providers try to do various things — animojis are communication instruments, whereas Toonstar is all about leisure. (Plus, you don’t want to look ahead to an iPhone X to use Toonstar’s app.)
He additionally argued that the facial recognition expertise wanted to do this sort of factor has existed for some time now. What’s new, he mentioned, is “this concept of a selfie tradition,” which Toonstar extends by permitting customers to remodel themselves into different characters, and even total casts of characters.
The Toonstar app is popping out of beta testing right now. The corporate says that in its three months in beta, the app attracted 20,000 customers, and the cartoons created have been seen 50 million instances.
The corporate has additionally partnered with Skybound Leisure, the corporate behind The Strolling Useless, on an initiative to flip a number of Skybound comics into Toonstar exhibits.
“We’re excited to companion with Toonstar as a result of we consider cartoon livestreaming has many distinctive benefits from each a shopper and manufacturing perspective,” mentioned Skybound North CEO Catherine Winder within the announcement. “Actualtime interplay permits followers to join instantly with their favourite characters in a ground-breaking method.”
Finally, Attanasio hopes that Toonstar not simply one other channel for animated content material, however a source of new mental property: “Possibly the following Rick and Morty comes from Toonstar, possibly the following Bojack Horseman comes from Toonstar.”
The startup has raised a seed spherical of undisclosed measurement led by Science Inc., with participation from Jon Goldman’s GC VR Gaming Tracker Fund, Manta Ray and Social Begins.