Behind the Scenes: The Story of How Crunchyroll Was Founded

Crunchyroll is one of the world’s largest anime and manga streaming services, with more than 1000 titles and 50 million registered users. It has become the go-to destination for anime fans around the world. However, not many people know the story behind its founding. In this article, we’ll take you behind the scenes and tell you the story of how Crunchyroll was founded.

The Early Days

Crunchyroll was founded in June 2006 by Kun Gao and James Lin. The two met in 2004 while they were both studying at the University of California, Berkeley. They bonded over their shared love for anime, and they started a website called “FanSub.TV,” where they shared anime with others.

At the time, anime distribution was still very traditional. Fans had to wait months or even years for new anime episodes to be released in their country, and even then, they had to buy expensive DVDs or pay-per-view fees. This made it difficult for fans to legally watch the latest anime without breaking the bank.

Gao and Lin saw this problem and decided to do something about it. They began translating and subtitling anime episodes and releasing them online for free. Fans loved it, and their website quickly gained a following.

The Birth of Crunchyroll

In 2006, Gao and Lin decided to take their website to the next level. They launched Crunchyroll as a streaming service, where fans could legally watch their favorite anime without having to wait for DVD releases or pay-per-view fees.

Initially, Crunchyroll only had a handful of titles, but it quickly gained a following, and the number of titles grew. In 2007, Gao and Lin raised $4.05 million in funding from Venrock and others. This allowed them to expand their library and reach even more fans.

Crunchyroll’s Success and Expansion

Over the next few years, Crunchyroll continued to grow in popularity. It became the go-to destination for anime fans around the world, and it continued to expand its library.

In 2013, Crunchyroll launched its manga service, where fans could read the latest manga chapters online. This service was also a hit, and it helped solidify Crunchyroll’s position as the leading anime and manga streaming service.

In 2016, Crunchyroll was acquired by Ellation, a subsidiary of Otter Media, a joint venture between AT&T and the Chernin Group. This gave Crunchyroll even more resources to continue its growth and expansion.

Today, Crunchyroll has over 1,000 titles, including popular series like Naruto, One Piece, and Attack on Titan. It also has a robust community of fans who can connect with each other through forums, events, and social media.

The Future of Crunchyroll

Crunchyroll’s future looks bright. The anime and manga industry is growing, and the demand for legal streaming services is increasing. Crunchyroll has positioned itself as the leading player in this space, and it continues to expand its library and reach.

One of Crunchyroll’s biggest challenges will be to keep up with its competitors. Services like Netflix and Hulu are also expanding their anime libraries, and new streaming services like Funimation are emerging. Crunchyroll will need to innovate and continue to provide top-quality content and features to stay ahead of the game.


Crunchyroll was founded by two anime fans who saw a problem and decided to do something about it. They built a platform that allowed fans to legally watch their favorite anime without having to wait for DVD releases or pay-per-view fees. Their service was a hit, and it quickly grew in popularity.

Today, Crunchyroll is the leading anime and manga streaming service, with over 50 million registered users and a library of over 1,000 titles. It has come a long way since its early days as a small website called “FanSub.TV,” and it continues to expand and innovate.

The story of Crunchyroll is a lesson in entrepreneurship and innovation. It shows how two passionate individuals can build a successful business by addressing a problem and providing a solution. Crunchyroll’s success is a testament to the power of following your passions and providing value to others.

Jameson Hunter

Xin chào, tôi là Jameson Hunter, một chuyên gia chia sẻ kiến thức và nhà sáng tạo nội dung với hơn 10 năm kinh nghiệm trong lĩnh vực này. Tôi sinh ngày 14/05/1989 tại Đà Nẵng, và tốt nghiệp Đại Học Bách Khoa Đà Nẵng. Tôi đam mê giải đáp và review các sản phẩm, dịch vụ trong nhiều lĩnh vực khác nhau, và luôn cố gắng chia sẻ những kiến thức hữu ích nhất cho cộng đồng. Cảm ơn vì đã đọc giới thiệu của tôi.

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