Mantra Inc.

– Problem:
The largest problem of global comic distribution is the slow speed / high cost of translation. These problems prevent publishers from delivering their comics abroad.
Consequently, manga (Japanese comics) are currently mostly served by low-quality, unprofessional, pirated translations on sleezy sites. The pirated Manga market in the US is estimated to be $10B/year, which is hugely damaging to publishers and Manga authors.

– Product:
We are building a comic translation tool for publishers to create an appropriate pipeline that connects comic artists and readers beyond language barriers. It contains i) a machine translation engine designed for comcis and ii) a post-editing tool for translators/letters. The translation engine achieves the best accuracy in the world (Compared with Google Translate, our engine performs similar to human translation by 3.6 points BLEU [Papineni+2002]). Combined with our online post-editing tool, the translation system accelerate the speed of comic translation by 2x.

– Business model & Tractions
We charge $1000-$5000 per month for our comic translation tool.
Within a month of the launch, 20+ publishers and online comic distributors had requested a free trial, and one of them had already switched to a paid plan ($1000/month).

SHONOSUKE ISHIWATARI
CEO

Nominated by

Director,
Incubation and Entrepreneurship Education,
The University of Tokyo
Firstly, they are focusing on an essential problem for the publishing industry of Japan. Piracy of comics has been a problem for many years. Many top-tier publishers in Japan are tackling this issue with legal actions and service improvement.

Secondly, the co-founders have domain expertise in the area of computer science. The two co-founders of Mantra both earned PhDs from the University of Tokyo in 2019. While the comic translation is an area that had been difficult to be automated, the co-founders had already made the most accurate machine translation engine for comics in the world.

I strongly believe that both the problem they are working on and the team are worthy of being nominated for AEA2020.