Featured Startup Pitch: Moscow-based NARR8 offers a mobile comic and story reader offering innovative types of interactivity

By Editor March 7, 2013

NARR8 logoCompany: NARR8

Website: www.narr8.me

Founders: Alexander Vaschenko, president, and Igor Matsanyuk, CEO

Headquarters: Moscow

Year Founded: 2011

Employees: 130

Facebook: facebook.com/narr8.me

Twitter: twitter.com/narr8

Company Description: NARR8 is a digital content channel delivering a broad spectrum of varied content based on exclusive, original, intellectual properties.

# # #

Alexander Vaschenko, NARR8By Alexander Vaschenko, co-founder and president

Headquartered in Moscow, Russia, with satellite operations in San Francisco, NARR8 is the result of my background in art, game development, and content, with funding from IMI.VC, a Moscow-based investment company. NARR8 currently has more than 130 employees encompassing both key business functions as well as content creators operating out of ten internally owned and operated studios.


NARR8 is an exciting new mobile app and content channel that adds animation, music, unique layouts, and special effects to interactive stories, articles, and motion comics, bringing them to life in unprecedented ways! The app offers a wide variety of content genres to choose from, and each individual series is its own amazing world—chock-full of story, characters, interactive elements, and art.

The NARR8 app is available for iPad, iPad Mini, and Android tablets. At NARR8, we believe that stories are more than just words on a page. We offer dynamic tales for readers, dreamers and explorers who want to experience an entirely new way of experiencing entertaining and informative content. Since our launch in November 2012, NARR8 has garnered 360,000 users, has hit #1 in the Apple App store (in Russia and the U.S.), and in February of 2013, has expanded its readership to Android devices.

Founders’ Story

We founded NARR8 in October of 2011 after working with Mail.Ru and Astrum Online. The company was initially funded with $4 million (U.S.) by IMI.VC, a Moscow-based investment firm led by Internet entrepreneur Igor Matsanyuk, who is considered to be one of the forefathers of the Russian game market. Together, the two of us created NARR8, which launched in November of 2012 with the goal of becoming a world leader in creating and distributing interactive stories for digital devices, with a heavy focus on shaping the culture of consuming entertainment and informational content.

How NARR8 Is Different

NARR8 differs from other mobile reading apps because it is completely free. As a digital publisher of motion comics, interactive novels and nonfiction, NARR8 offers all its content in the form of serials that are constantly updated with new episodes! Our creative team produces a huge range of genres, including horror, sci-fi, fantasy, mystery, graphic novels, world history, popular science, and very soon, lifestyle and leisure as well. All content is original to NARR8 and produced in-house.

Marketing/Promotion Strategy

As NARR8 is a digital publisher and free-to-use mobile app, our marketing and public relations teams go beyond the standard press release and traditional, data-driven mobile user acquisition to ‘thinking global, acting local’ by leveraging social media, trade and consumer shows, and creative, community-focused promotions.

Business Model

Currently free to download and read, NARR8 recently launched an iOS update with gamification features that lets users collect NARRs (in-app tokens) to unlock features, stories, and more! We plan to leverage NARRs and other gamification features, along with other business development projects, to support our business model going forward.

Market Opportunity

We feel that NARR8’s most unique feature is the incredible diversity that our company, and our app, represent. The current NARR8 app offers a huge variety of internally-produced content genres, including motion comics, interactive novels, and interactive edutainment for both iOS and Android devices, absolutely free. And in the future, NARR8 will also expand into publishing third-party projects, which will open the floodgates to expand our already diverse content exponentially.

NARR8 – www.NARR8.me