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Wattpad, the storytelling platform, is selling to South Korea’s Naver for $600 million – TechCrunch

A 14-year-old Toronto-based venture-backed storytelling platform and multi-industry reach, Wattpad has been acquired by South Korean conglomerate Naver for $ 600 million in cash and equity transactions.

Neighbors plan to incorporate at least part of their business into another business. Webtoon, a publishing platform featuring thousands of user-created comics, launched by Naver in 2004 and brought to the United States in 2014. There is also a large audience. According to Naver, Webtoons had an average of over 67 million monthly users as of August last year.

At first glance, this deal seems to make sense. According to South Korea’s Pulse News, some South Korean webtoons are finding more viewers and switching to movies. (The following is a trailer of a popular series called “Angel’s Secret”.)

Similarly, originally released as an e-reader app, Wattpad has evolved into a very popular platform where users publish their original work and more than 90 million people visit to read it each month.

In fact, according to an article published on The Verge last week, Wattpad has published over a billion articles over the years, claiming that users spend a total of 22 billion minutes a month reading them. doing.

Like Webtoon, Wattpad offers many platforms that require new content, from Netflix to Apple to more sophisticated outfits like GoJek’s GoPlay released by Indonesian ride-haling giants in 2019. With that in mind, we’re even more focused on streaming media. (In addition to Wattpad, Studios and Wattpad also launched a book publishing department in 2019.)

In a press release about the new partnership, Webtoon CEO Jun Koo Kim said, “It’s a big step towards becoming the world’s leading multimedia entertainment company.”

Meanwhile, Naver CEO Song Sukhan (including the popular Tokyo-based messaging app Line) said in another release that Wattpad co-founders Allen Lau and Ivan Yuen will continue to lead the company after the acquisition. ..

As for whether the sale is a win for Wattpad investors, it seems modest. (It’s hard to tell a lot without knowing the terms each costume invested in.)

Wattpaid has raised $ 117.8 million from investors in Asia, the United States and Canada over the years and closed the last round with $ 51 million from Tencent Holdings, BDC and Globe Telecom’s Kickstart Ventures, Peterson Group, Canso and Raine Ventures. ..

According to Pitchbook, the final transaction announced in 2018 assigned the company a post-valuation of $ 398 million.

Wattpad, the storytelling platform, is selling to South Korea’s Naver for $600 million – TechCrunch Source link Wattpad, the storytelling platform, is selling to South Korea’s Naver for $600 million – TechCrunch

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