Wattpad Acquired By Webtoon’s Parent Company ‘Naver’ In $600 Million Deal
The latest news for those who enjoy visual and textual storytelling content is the mega-deal between Wattpad and Naver search engine. WattpadCorp has recently announced in a recent press release of this colossal collaboration.
The Naver sign-up has been finalized for a cumulative $600 million. So, what does this mean for the future of this e-reader website composed of user-generated stories?
The Origins of Wattpad
WattpadCorp is primitively a human storytelling platform. It emerged on the internet in early 2007 and took over as it did. With mobile applications being downloaded and iPhone versions also released. The website became even more approachable to the general public.
The Toronto-based website was declared the best Digital Media company in the country at the Canadian Innovation Exchange, which was one of many awards it received over time.
With over 90 million viewers traffic, the website has grown immensely over time. Wattpad brought about a new experience to storytelling. What attracted book-worms to opt for it was the user-friendly experience. Additionally, the diversity it provides in terms of reading and writing experience was also a driving force.
A few of its stories got published as books and later adapted as movies. Among these was Anna Todd’s After. The romance and Drama genre was much loved among the readers as well as movie watchers.
Wattpad’s market has only grown ever since. With its spread in the Philippines and new paid features, it gained significant approval from the public.
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Its newly launched divisions include
- Wattpad Studios: to adapt stories into TV shows and films
- Wattpad Books: to publish physical books
- Wattpad Brand Partnerships: For brand collaborations
The company has enhanced its horizons in five continents. It has published 21 books to date. It also raised $ 117M in venture funds.
Now the coalition with Naver entertainment could open up a whole new dimension for storytelling entertainment.
What is Naver?
In 1999 Naver Corporation introduced this online platform. It was South Korea’s first web portal designed to use the Naver search engine.
What makes it such a giant in the cyber world are its extensive features. Considering its usage, one could simply call it South Korea’s Google. Its ability to provide multiple sourced results on a single search engine makes it a browser hero in South Korea.
The various subsidiaries include :
- Juniver (Naver junior)
- Naver Webtoon ( Comic Website )
- Naver Cafe (For creating online communities)
- Naver blog (For influencer reviews)
- NaverTV (For shows approved by Naver)
- Naver shopping website (Korea buy and sell website)
- Naver Line is heir to Naver, which has provided the biggest competition to other messenger services online.
- Whale (A browser developed by Naver search engine from scratch)
The whale could be considered Naver’s most significant accomplishment. It took five hectic years of development. But features such as Omni-tasking were worth the grind. By utilizing this feature, one can efficiently work from one window. This saves the hassle of opening multiple windows.
With so much to offer, it’s no less than a search engine tycoon.
Future of the Coalition
The deal that Wattpad has conducted with Korea buy and sell website will undoubtedly open new doors for both of them. The agreement has precisely been executed between the Naver heir Webtoon and Wattpad. This was confirmed in a Webtoon press release on the backing of patent organization Naver Korea.
The main points included in the release were :
- Generation of a combined reader base of over 160 million monthly users globally
- Innovative monetization model of Naver Webtoon combined with Wattpad’s versatile story library
- A stronger foundation to fund an aspiring generation of young, creative talent.
Before getting into the statistics of the results of this joint venture, we need to answer what is Webtoon?
To put it simply, Naver Webtoon is a visual storytelling platform. It is a one-of-a-kind digital comics self-publishing platform. It innovatively brings new life to the storytelling world.
With this cash and stock transaction between the two entertainment platforms, the public might get a whole other entertainment experience. Its international outreach and substantial funding by Naver Corporation have made it an unmatchable comic platform. Webtoon’s central claim to fame is from the deconstruction of beauty culture. The English translation of The Makeup Remover by Lee Yelon has gained around 800K subscribers.
Its markable creations are “Lore Olympus.” Others include its collaboration with:
- Jim Henson Company
- Producers behind hit films like “The Lego Movie,” the “It” franchise, and “Snowpiercer.”
Supporting factors that make apps like Naver Webtoon attractive include the visual experience. Some users enjoy looking at the action rather than imagining it. Alternatively, some just appreciate the added feature.
Comics have always been a top-notch source of entertainment over-all.
The benefit of this coalition is the improved content. Content from Wattpad has caught the attention of various media platforms like Netflix and Hulu. Movies like ‘The Kissing Booth’ have made a separate fan base as movies. This is in addition to the ebook popularity. The versatility of genres, the creativity of authors, and added features are additional plus points.
The Future of Wattpad
With the confirmation of the deal, the general public has been in a frenzy about the future of Wattpad. There is no doubt about the benefits and growth opportunities this step entails. The point to ponder, is the future independence of the platform.
To simply put it, what will change after this deal with Naver entertainment. Amidst the concerns as mentioned earlier, Allen Nau’s statement was generated.
According to co-founder Allen Lau, he and Ivan Yuen will still be part of the driving team. This would allow them to lead the company as CEO and chief strategy officer, respectively.
Even though a sale was never on the agenda, it has been finalized. In Lau’s words;
“We weren’t actively looking for sellers, but we have been talking to investors along the way … to accelerate our growth”.
The worries, as mentioned earlier, have been put to rest with the confirmation by Lau. Furthermore, the operating headquarters will be located in Canada. The complete details of the terms of the contract are unknown. But, it can be said that there won’t be any drastic changes in the Wattpad policy as of yet. But over-all, the future of both Naver Webtoon and Wattpad seems to be bright.
Lau also hinted at the promising future of this acquisition by saying.
“This is the most important day in the history of the company and an incredible milestone,”
“It is the beginning of a new chapter, and using TV show terminology, this is episode one of season two, so I’m absolutely looking forward to this. ”
So, it can be hoped that things will go upward for both of the parties involved.
The Prompt to Sell:
What pushed the founders to consider the deal was the status of Naver Webtoon as a comic-producing platform.
According to Lau,
“We knew Naver for quite some time, and we realized after some conversations we have a shared vision.”
The epic contrast of the nature of the two websites was the primary reason to take such a drastic decision by the founders.
Naver search engine plans to provide Wattpad a new direction. To enter animation and to develop over the existing 90 million customers. This will add to the five million writers that Wattpad already has under its belt. Naver Webtoon stated it has month-to-month customers exceed 72 million.
According to chief government Seong-sook Han,
“Wattpad’s vision to entertain and connect the world through stories fits perfectly with our vision for Webtoon and Naver’s content brand, and we’re thrilled to have them join the Naver family.”
The most essential way both franchises complement each other is their target audience. Considering how huge each of these is, the combination will be a challenge to overcome by others. We can expect competitors to break into a massive sweat in the near future.
This success-powered duo might revolutionize the e-reader world. Giving it innovative multiple dimensions.
Additionally, this cash and stock transaction can be considered a symbiotic one by nature. And can only be confirmed by obtaining the full contract details. However, things are looking good for both storytelling websites.
Sale Trends of Canadian Tech Companies
This acquisition isn’t the only one that has taken place during the pandemic. Even though it is the latest one in the series. Many other tech companies holding bright futures have followed these trends recently.
The latest trends of Canadian organizations being picked up and bought by foreign businesses has been followed by these companies:
One is “Element AI.” It signed a deal in November to be purchased by “ServiceNow.” This is a cloud-based workflow tech offering company. Element AI is based in Montreal and provides artificial intelligence solutions.
“Buy now, pay later” based in San Francisco also sealed the deal to buy “PayBright” for $340 million in December 2020.