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

Product, A 14-year-old, Toronto-based, venture-backed storytelling platform that reaches across multiple verticals, is being acquired by the South Korean conglomerate, Never, in a $ 600 million cash-and-stock deal.

Navar plans to include at least part of the business in its holding holdings publishing group Webtoon, Which Naver launched in 2004, was brought to the US in 2014, and features thousands of comic strips created by its users. It also has a large audience. According to Naver, Vebtons was above average 67 million monthly users As of last August.

On the face of it, the deal makes sense. According to Pulse News of Korea, some of Korea’s webtunes are gaining a wide audience and Film crossing. (Below is a trailer for a popular series called “The Secret of Angel”.)

Similarly, Wattpad, which was originally launched as an e-reading app, has evolved into a highly popular platform where users publish their original work and more than 90 million people read them monthly. Come from

Indeed, according to a story published last week in Wagepad, Wattpad has published over a billion stories over the years, and claims that its users spend a collective 22 billion minutes per month They are studying.

Like WebToon, Wattpad has received more attention to streaming media, given that many platforms now require new content, from Netflix to Apple to far-flung organizations, such as GoJek’s GoPlay, by the Indonesian ride-heavy giant Launched in 2019. (other than this Wattpad Studio, Wattpad also launched a book Publication department In 2019)

Webtoon CEO Jun Koo Kim said in a press release about the new tie-up that it represents “a major step towards becoming a major global multimedia entertainment company”.

Meanwhile, Naver CEO Seong-suk Han – whose assets include the popular Tokyo-based messaging app line – said in a separate release that Wattpad co-founders Alan Lau and Ivan Yuen continue to lead the company following its acquisition Will keep

As if the sale is a win for Wattpad’s investors, it appears to be a moderate one. (It is difficult to know the words under which each organization invested.)

Wattpaid has raised $ 117.8 million from investors over the years in Asia, the United States and Canada, and raised its most recent round of $ 51 million from Tencent Holdings, BDC, Globe Telecom’s Kickstart Ventures, Peterson Group, Canso, and Rhine Ventures Closed along.

The final deal, announced in 2018, entails a post-valuation of funds to the company $ 398 million according to Pitchbook.