Wattpad was acquired by Naver, the South Korean internet conglomerate which is also home to the Webtoon digital comic platform.
Wattpad’s board of directors today announced it unanimously approves a definitive deal to be acquired by Naver. Naver is expected to acquire the storytelling platform in a cash and stock transaction valued at over $ 600 million, subject to customary adjustments and other conditions.
This acquisition will allow Wattpad to continue to accelerate its growth and international success. Wattpad will retain its headquarters in Canada under the continued leadership of founders Allen Lau and Ivan Yuen.
Naver is known for its strong portfolio of search, e-commerce, communications, social networking, and many other content entertainment services and brands including the aforementioned Webtoon as well as Smart Stores, N Pay, Line, Band, V Live and Snow, among others.
Wattpad and Collective Pictures to develop ‘Float’, Robbie Amell to produce and star
“Co-founders Allen Lau and Ivan Yuen, along with the entire Wattpad team, have created something special, and we are grateful to Allen and Ivan for continuing to run this fantastic business for us after the acquisition,” said Seong-Sook Han, CEO of Naver. “Wattpad’s vision of entertaining and connecting the world through stories fits perfectly with our vision for Webtoon and the Naver content brand. We are delighted to see them join the Naver family.
“When we launched Wattpad in 2006, we realized that technology would democratize storytelling and that stories are the atomic unit of all kind of entertainment,” said Lau, CEO and co-founder of Wattpad. “In 2021, as every form of entertainment is being transformed, we’ve built a platform that can fuel successes on screen and on shelves, empowering and rewarding a new generation of diverse creators around the world. whole. “
Lau added, “Today’s news is about continuing Wattpad’s journey and taking our business to the next level. We are excited about the prospect of joining the amazing teams at Naver and Webtoon to continue our growth, help more writers earn money, and bring new voices to screens and bookstores around the world.
Wattpad joins Webtoon as part of Naver’s portfolio – and it’s in great company. Webtoon is the leading publisher of digital comics with an average of over 72 million monthly active users. In November, Webtoon announced the launch of Webtoon Studios which has worked with The Jim Henson Company, Crunchyroll and Vertigo Entertainment.
Wattpad’s global community reached 90 million people in 2020 – including more than five million writers – who spend over 23 billion minutes per month devoting themselves to original stories ranging from sci-fi to romance, to fantasy, to horror and everything in between.
To date, approximately 1,500 Wattpad stories have been published in book form or adapted for television and film. Wattpad launched Wattpad Books in 2019. The company recently partnered with Collective Pictures to develop Fleet based on the story written by Kate Marchant on the Wattpad social storytelling platform. Robbie Amell (Download) is stared. Other Wattpad stories that have been adapted in functionality include After and The kissing booth. Wattpad launched Wattpad Books, bringing various new voices to shelves around the world.
In addition, Wattpad Studios has established entertainment partnerships with TV and film studios around the world, developing TV shows and movies across five continents, with companies like Bavaria Fiction (Germany), Mediawan (France) , Wise Entertainment (Brazil), CBC (Canada), Picturestart (United States), MediaCorp (Singapore) and many more.
The Raine Group acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Wattpad. Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Stikeman Elliott LLP are acting as legal counsel to Naver. Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati are acting as legal advisers to Wattpad.
The acquisition is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2021, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.