The $600 Million Deal between Wattpad and Naver, the South Korean Internet Giant

Ariel Go
International Business News Writer

Wattpad is a 14-year-old entertainment company, known widely for its user-generated fiction storytelling platform. This entertainment company has disclosed on January 19 it’s deal with Naver. Navar is South Korea’s leading search engine and e-commerce platform. Both parties have come to an agreement that Naver will acquire the social storytelling app through a cash and stock deal valued at more than $600 million. Renowned as the home of Webtoon, a global digital comics platform with an average of 72 million active users, Naver Corp hopes Webtoon and Wattpad will merge into a leading global multimedia entertainment company. This will ultimately result in a combined number of 160 million monthly active users worldwide.

On the face of it, the deal between Wattpad and Naver does appear to make sense. Naver CEO Seong-Sook Han stated, “Wattpad’s vision to entertain and connect the world through stories fits perfectly with our vision for Webtoon and Naver’s content brand.” According to TechCrunch, various regional webtoons in South Korea are trying to seek a broader geographic audience and venture into film. In a similar manner, Wattpad was able to evolve from its initial plan as an e-reading app into a highly popular platform, where writers can publish their original stories and works. With approximately 5 million writers and a vast user base of more than 90 million people, Wattpad currently boasts more than a billion stories created over the years according to The Verge.

Navar acquiring Wattpad (Photo courtesy of Google Images)

Wattpad, like Webtoon, has been more focused on streaming media. Up to this date, around 1,500 Wattpad stories have been both adapted for TV and published as books. As stated in The Variety, Wattpad Studios has more than 50 film adaption projects worldwide that are in development. These works include “She’s with Me” and “The Hound,” which have millions of reads on the application.

Seoul-based Naver further announced that in accordance with the terms of their deal, Wattpad will stay headquartered in Toronto, Canada. It’s co-founders, CEO Allen Lau and Chief Strategy Officer Ivan Yuen will remain at Wattpad’s head of leadership. In an interview, Chief Executive Allen Lau said, “This is a momentous milestone for the company. This is not the end; this is the beginning of an even faster growth trajectory for us to get to our mission. This is the most amazing day in the history of the company.” The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of Wattpad’s fiscal year, contingent upon regulatory approvals and other normal closing conditions.


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