Wattpad, the user-generated fiction platform and leisure corporate, introduced that it agreed to be bought by way of Korean web conglomerate Naver, dad or mum of virtual comics platform Webtoon, in a deal price greater than $600 million.
Seoul-based Naver plans to procure Wattpad in a money and inventory transaction valued at greater than $600 million, matter to normal changes and different phrases, the corporations introduced. The deal is anticipated to near in Q2 2021.
Below the phrases of the deal, Wattpad will stay founded in Toronto, Canada, underneath the continuing management of its co-founders, CEO Allen Lau and leader technique officer Ivan Yuen. The corporations mentioned the deal will “align” Wattpad’s consumer base of greater than 90 million — which incorporates greater than 5 million writers — with Naver’s Webtoon, which averages 72 million per thirty days energetic customers.
Wattpad says its international neighborhood spends greater than 23 billion mins per thirty days engaged with unique tales spanning genres together with sci-fi, romance, fable and horror. Up to now, round 1,500 Wattpad tales were printed as books or tailored for TV and picture. The corporate’s Wattpad Studios department has advanced TV presentations and movies with studios like Sony Photos Tv, Picturestart within the U.S., Germany’s Bavaria Fiction, France’s Mediawan, Brazil’s Smart Leisure, Canada’s CBC and Singapore’s MediaCorp. In 2019, Wattpad introduced Wattpad Books, which has printed 21 books so far.
Wattpad Studios has greater than 50 TV and picture adaption tasks in building international, together with Jessica Cunsolo’s “She’s With Me,” arrange as a sequence with Sony Photos Tv; DeAnna Cameron’s “What Took place That Night time,” which is being tailored by way of Oscar-nominated “Kids of Males” screenwriter David Arata; T.L. Bodine’s “The Hound,” which is being scripted by way of Angela LaManna (Netflix’s “The Haunting of Bly Manor”); and “Drift,” a film in response to Kate Marchant’s standard Wattpad teen-romance tale, starring Robbie Amell (“Add”), who may be set to provide. It’s set to be coproduced with Collective Photos (previously Colony Photos), which was once in the back of Netflix’s “Code 8.”
Webtoon, whose webcomics come with Rachel Smythe’s “Lore Olympus,” additionally has a studio department that has labored to evolve unique highbrow assets in partnerships with the Jim Henson Corporate; Crunchyroll; Vertigo Leisure, the manufacturing corporate in the back of the “It” franchise and “The Lego Film”; and Sure Leisure, the worldwide studio led by way of manufacturer Samuel Ha (“Snowpiercer,” “Okja”).
“Co-founders Allen Lau and Ivan Yuen, and all of the group at Wattpad, have created one thing particular, and we’re thankful to have Allen and Ivan proceed to guide this incredible corporate for us post-acquisition,” Naver CEO Seong-Sook Han mentioned in saying the deal. She added, “Wattpad’s imaginative and prescient to entertain and fasten the sector via tales suits completely with our imaginative and prescient for Webtoon and Naver’s content material logo.”
Wattpad was once based in 2006, in response to the concept that “era would democratize storytelling and that tales are the atomic unit of each and every form of leisure,” Wattpad’s Lau mentioned in a observation. “These days’s information is ready proceeding Wattpad’s adventure and taking our industry to the following degree. We’re delighted in regards to the prospect of becoming a member of the superb groups at Naver and Webtoon to proceed our expansion, lend a hand extra writers generate profits, and convey new voices to monitors and bookstores in every single place.”
Wattpad in the past raised $117.8 million from buyers in Asia, the U.S. and Canada. The corporate’s newest spherical was once $51 million in 2018 from Tencent Holdings, BDC, Globe Telecom’s Kickstart Ventures, Peterson Team, Canso, and Raine Ventures. Earlier buyers come with OMERS Ventures, August Capital, Union Sq. Ventures, Golden Project Companions, Khosla Ventures, AME Cloud Ventures, Northleaf Project Catalyst Fund and Model One Ventures.
Naver, based in 1999, operates Korea’s No.1 seek engine and biggest e-commerce platform and owns different products and services and types together with Webtoon, Japan’s Line messaging app and the Snow video app.