TBS Planet Comics, a comic books venture started in July 2016 by Rajeev Tamhankar from Bangalore, has just announced its first fundraising of undisclosed amount from ten angel investors led by Amit Singal, founder of Startup Buddy, Gurugram.
About the funding, the startup founder and CEO Rajeev Tamhankar says, “We at TBS Planet are committed to bringing fresh and interesting kids content and this funding round will help us move closer to our goal. We recently won “Entrepreneur of the Year” award for Print Business last month at an annual entrepreneur event and this round is a further validation that we are on the right path. Our investors come from varied backgrounds – some have been founders of successful startups themselves like Startup Buddy, HuHuba Comics Reader, while some are seasoned professionals from leading globally renowned companies like Microsoft and Flipkart.”
TBS Planet Comics is now India’s fastest growing comics and graphic novel publishers – the only Indian action comics publisher to come out with one new title every month. The studio has been official comics partners for Bollywood Movies like – ‘Shivaay’ by Ajay Devgn Films and ‘A Flying Jatt’ by Balaji Motion Pictures within the first year of their operations.
TBS Planet creates content in different genres – action superheroes, comedy, horror, mythologies etc. Their paperback comics are currently being distributed by about 150 railway stations, 120 bookstores and all Comic Con events. And digital comics are being distributed by Reliance on its Jio Chat Mobile App (25 million+ downloads). The comics are also available on their recently launched Android App – TBS Planet Comics.
Startup Buddy founder Amit Singal commented on the round that, “Comics are coming back, they have been coming back since Marvel released Iron Man to the world. There have been a few very big players for a very long time who have introduced great heroes, I think it’s time India created our own. TBS is leading it after Pran with a more global feel to it. We are extremely positive of creating something big here.”
“Comics is one of the most exciting pillars of content industry. Today it is no longer a kids thing. Even adults today consume comic and manga content. Average age of person visiting a Comic Con event is 21. An interesting title today can potentially sell even 100,000 copies. TBS Planet’s horror comic 13 Days has been widely read by adults on the mobile app. I’m very excited to be an investor in this young comics startup and I believe that Rajeev and TBS will play a pivotal role in shaping modern comic era for India and abroad” added Rohit Prakash, who is also an investor in the startup and has been the founder of comics reader company, HuHuba.
The startup founder Rajeev Tamhankar is a 2012 silver medalist from IIT Roorkee. He also holds 2011 Limca World Record for hand-drawing world’s largest political map (30 ft x 20ft). After IIT, he worked at Flipkart for three years and then over a year at Xiaomi before starting this venture.
When Rajeev was about ten years old, he had the habit of doodling comics on his school notebook. But his first break came to writing with his novel, Get Corporated before you get fired!
After the book, he got the feedback from a lot of readers that he should have written the satire in a comic book style and that’s what gave him the idea of starting this venture. He named it “Thought Bubbles Studio” as he wanted it to start for creativity and imagination. Their first character “Ved” became an Amazon bestseller soon after.
Rajeev says, “A lot of parents keep telling me that their kids are just hooked on smartphones and the parents are looking for ways to get their kid instead fall in love with books. Comics is possibly the most important way to help a kid develop reading habit. Comics are short and crisp and help kids imagine while reading. Slowly he starts developing a habit of reading. The kid also learns new words while reading the comics. We are currently working under the guidance of some IIT professors on framing sentences in a way that can help boost kids’ vocabulary and also impart them interesting science facts during the narration.”
Currently with a total team size of 18 members including freelancers, TBS Planet Comics is home to seven superhero characters – Ved, Varun, Karma, Takshak, Yug, Dhwani and Prakriti.