Naver acquires Canada-based website and app for writers

Alonzo Simpson
January 21, 2021

Naver said in a regulatory filing on January 20 that it would acquire a 100 percent stake in Wattpad for 653.3 billion won ($594 million) to "diversify global content business and strengthen North American business".

Naver, an IT company that operates Korea's most popular search engine, announced in a release that Wattpad will collaborate with its digital comic platform Webtoon to create content. Webtoon has more than 72 million monthly readers.

"Wattpad joining Webtoon under the Naver umbrella will be a big step toward us becoming a leading global multimedia entertainment company", said Naver Webtoon founder and CEO Kim Jun-koo in a statement. Naver, which has a domestic platform for Korean web novels, is betting that an ecosystem for web novels can be made in a similar fashion by applying its successful webtoon business model to Wattpad, which has lacked a means of monetization.

In 2020, the global community of Wattpad reached 90 million people, with 5 million writers, who spent more than 23 billion minutes a month engaged in original stories that taps on different genres such as romance, science fiction, horror, fantasy and more. 'Both Wattpad and Webtoon care most about helping creators tell their story their way, and both represent world-leading collections of inspired, imaginative storytelling IP'. Wattpad Books has published 21 books to date. Wattpad's headquarters will still be in Canada under the leadership of founders Ivan Yuen and Allen Lau.

Wattpad launched the print publishing division Wattpad Books in 2019 to convert popular stories from its catalogue into print books.

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That's not to say things will remain the same, as Wattpad intends to continue its explosive growth as a full-on worldwide media company.

Wattpad has previously raised Dollars $117.8 million from global investors in Asia, the United States, and Canada.

Wattpad is an online platform that allows anyone to read and write stories.

Wattpad, the storytelling incubator where budding authors can get their work turned into movies, had been acquired by Naver. Wattpad has seen enormous entertainment success with published books, as well as TV, and film adaptations like the After franchise, Hulu's series Light as a Feather, and the hit Indonesian Vidio Originals series Turn On.

Element AI, a Montreal-based firm that creates artificial intelligence solutions for large organizations, signed a deal in November to be purchased by ServiceNow, a Santa Clara, Calif., company that offers a cloud-based workflow technology. Naver cultivates a culture of "Founder-type leaders" who continue to launch innovative mobile applications, including LINE (Japan's No.1 messaging app), WEBTOON and SNOW.

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