Company Update - May 9, 2023

Black Sands Entertainment Makes Ambitious Growth Plans

Diversity and representation in fictional content is essential for most fans. Creating characters with various ethnicities and backgrounds is not just a matter of representing reality. It also helps media consumers identify with characters, dream big about their future, and develop empathy and respect for differences.

To resolve the lack of representation of black characters in comic books, Black Sands Entertainment creates various comics featuring black characters. The company’s early traction and the positive trends of the market made it a Deal to Watch during its two last raises, which closed in February and December 2020, respectively. I reached out to Black Sands Entertainment founder and CEO Manuel Godoy to learn more about the company’s progress over the last 2 1/2 years.

Mixed Results

Black Sands Entertainment grew its revenue to $1.1 million in 2021. This is pretty impressive growth knowing that the company made only $100,048 in 2019. However, the company saw its revenue decrease by $900,000 in 2022. 

Godoy explained the revenue decrease was due to his participation in the TV show “Shark Tank,” which distracted him from sales. It seems reasonable that getting on a TV show and negotiating with the sharks took most of his time and focus. But I wish Black Sands Entertainment had at least maintained its revenue. Even in a small company, a founder should be able to delegate and have a team that is organized and motivated enough to maintain the business in the absence of its leader.

Black Sands Entertainment onboarded new creators and generated 40 new chapters since its last raise. The company also created an app, but quickly shut it down once it failed. Being able to make quick business decisions is an important skill for a founder, so it’s a good sign that Manuel is able to execute quickly. Manuel also told me that any investor who previously bought shares in the app now owns shares in Black Sands Entertainment and can still hope to generate a return on their investment.

An Ambitious Path Ahead

Black Sands Entertainment is currently developing a new video game that should launch in the next year. The startup is also in discussions with a production company to create a TV show based on some of its characters. The company expects that to be done in about a year as well.

By talking with Manuel, I’ve learned that producing these related products — like video games or movies — is easy as long as the company can invest capital in their development. However, Black Sands Entertainment will have to invest in marketing to bring the content to its audience. At a time where a diverse range of free content is easily available online, the company will need to have a smart marketing strategy to attract new fans. But if it is a success, Manuel is already planning on selling merchandise associated with the company’s characters.

The company’s growth plan is ambitious but clear, and Manuel is executing his ideas quickly. If the company gets the capital to develop these plans, it will be a smart way to scale the business and deliver returns to investors.

About: Léa Bouhelier-Gautreau

Léa is passionate about impact investing and sustainability. Prior to KingsCrowd, she worked for Stanford’s accelerator, StartX, helping to select the most promising entrepreneurs. She also led the first award-winning study on the Malawian startup ecosystem. In her free-time, she volunteers to help entrepreneurs in Cameroon, Brazil and Colombia. Léa holds a degree in Anthropology from France and is currently enrolled in the UC Davis MBA program.

View more articles by Léa

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