Korean Kakao Entertainment To Buy Fiction App Radish For $ 440 Million – Deadline

Los Angeles-based serialized fiction app Radish has sold to Kakao Entertainment of Korea in a deal worth $ 440 million. Radish’s board of directors and a majority of shareholders have approved the acquisition, which is expected to close in June.

The move will strengthen Kakao’s rapidly growing global webtoons and web novel business and expand its reach into North America and other English-speaking territories. Radish brings a strong base of millions of fans to North America for its Radish Original series, an original IP source that Kakao can now adapt for webtoons and video, the companies said Monday.

Kakao Entertainment has original story IP addresses for Webtoon and Web novels developed in-house in Music, TV Series, Movies and Performances. He has adapted popular web novels such as What’s wrong with secretary Kim, A commercial proposition, and Solo leveling in webtoons and other creative media.

Serialized fiction app Radish secures $ 63 million in funding, opens office in Los Angeles, considers TV opportunities

Radish, founded in 2016, is a mobile fiction platform for rapidly serialized frenzy-worthy stories including romance, paranormal / sci-fi, LGBTQ, young adults, horror, mystery and the thriller. It is growing rapidly, and today’s announcement indicates that revenue has increased tenfold in 2020 compared to 2019, with more than 90% of its Radish Original series.

He said he would continue to add new content to his platform and explore acquisition opportunities.

The app uses a micropayment system that allows users to test a story by reading multiple free episodes, then paying 20-30 cents to access each additional episode before release. Readers can wait an hour to unlock future episodes for free.

“Radish has firmly established itself as a leading innovative web platform and yet we see even greater growth potential. It has had huge success with original and fast mobile content and has grown dramatically with a ten-fold increase in its annual revenue last year, ”said Jinsoo Lee, CEO of Kakao Entertainment.

“With the combination of Kakao’s intellectual property expertise and Radish’s strong North American footprint, we are excited about what we can accomplish together.”

Radish will maintain its day-to-day management autonomy and will continue to operate under the Radish brand. Radish Founder and CEO Seungyoon Lee will continue to lead the company and act as head of Kakao Entertainment’s global strategy to help lead the company’s global expansion strategy.

Kakao Entertainment (formerly Kakao Page Corp.) was part of Radish’s Series A investment cycle that he co-led with Softbank Ventures Asia. The original investors included Lowercase Capital, K50 Ventures, billionaire investor Nicolas Berggruen, former Microsoft executive Charlie Songhurst, BDA chairman Duncan Clark as well as bestselling author Amy Tan.

The deal comes as Kakao Entertainment, a division of South Korean tech giant Kakao, is considering an initial public offering. South Korea is the choice for a listing, but Bloomberg recently reported that the company is also exploring New York as an option after NYSE’s successful debut for shares in South Korean e-commerce company Coupang in March.

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