Storiaverse launches a short-form storytelling app that combines video and written content | TechCrunch

Agnes Kozera and David Kierzkowski, the co-founders of podcast sponsorship marketplace Podcorn, today launched their newest app — Storiaverse, a short-form entertainment platform that offers a multi-format reading experience, combining animated video and written content.

Available on iOS and Android devices, Storiaverse caters to graphic novel readers and adult animation fans who want to discover original stories in a short-form, animated format.

“Our mission is to make Storiaverse the biggest storytelling platform and to make reading more immersive and engaging,” Kozera, who also co-founded YouTube marketing platform FameBit (which Google acquired in 2016), told TechCrunch.

“We believe our format not only caters to existing fans of literature and animation but also has the potential to attract wider audiences that are seeking new forms of entertainment…Even people who have shied away from reading because they are more [visual readers] can enjoy reading through our patent-pending read-watch format,” she said.

Image Credits: Storiaverse

Storiaverse’s “Read-Watch” format is exactly how it sounds. Users swipe up on a story to watch a series of animated clips, then tap on the screen to enter reading mode. There’s also an option to skip the videos if they prefer reading all the chapters first and then going back to view the animation. Stories range in length, from five minutes to 10.

At launch, Storiaverse offers 25 original titles spanning genres such as science fiction, fantasy, horror, mystery and comedy. Creators who released stories on the app include animator Josh Ryba, who has contributed to projects such as popular TV shows “Raised by Wolves” and “One Piece;” animator Jonathan Fontaine, who has worked on the Disney movie “Descendants;” and writer John M. Floyd, who has been featured in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, among others.

Notably, book publisher HarperCollins is also partnering with the company to adapt titles like Madeleine Roux’s horror novel series Asylum and Joelle Charbonneau’s new fantasy series Dividing Eden. Additionally, TikTok star and independent animator King Science (Science Akbar) is teaming up to create an exclusive story on the app.

There are currently more than 100 creators working with Storiaverse and more than 100 stories in development.

Co-founders Agnes Kozera and David Kierzkowski. Image Credits: Storiaverse

Storiaverse launches at a time when many creators are panicking about the future of TikTok, the ByteDance-owned short-form video app where many storytellers have built a sizable audience (like King Science and his 13 million followers) and use the platform to show off their work.

Like TikTok and YouTube Shorts, Storiaverse offers an additional revenue stream for creators.

“There is a vast community of independent writers who often struggle for recognition and compensation. We believe their content can be invigorated in a more modern format to reach new readers,” Kozera said, adding that Storiaverse compensates both writers and animators for their contributions to the app. “The [compensation] fee varies based on factors such as length and complexity of the story,” she explained.

The company may also take other pages out of its competitors’ playbooks by bringing in ads, merchandise and subscriptions. Another idea on the table is adding product placement to videos, Kozera told us.

Storiaverse says it has already received thousands of submissions from writers. Creators can apply on Storiaverse’s website. When writers are accepted, they’re connected with an animator who helps bring the words to life.

The company is also building a Creator Suite for creators to collaborate with each other, access story performance insights and explore “more monetization opportunities,” Kozera said.

Storiaverse has raised $2.5 million in pre-seed funding led by 500 Global.

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