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Wattpad to be sold to South Korean internet giant for $600M US

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one among Canada’s such a lot distinguished technology darlings is being offered to a South Korean web conglomerate in a $SIX HUNDRED million US deal.

Toronto-based totally on-line storytelling company Wattpad mentioned its board of directors unanimously approved a money and inventory transaction Tuesday as a way to see it bought by Naver later this 12 months. the company will retain its Canadian headquarters.

“that is the most essential day within the historical past of the corporate and an incredible milestone,” mentioned Allen Lau, one in every of Wattpad’s co-founders, in an interview.

“it is the start of a new chapter and the use of TV show terminology, that is episode one of season two, so I Am absolutely taking a look ahead to this.”

Wattpad warns of information breach that stole consumer info

Lau and Ivan Yuen, who will continue to guide Wattpad following the sale, began the self-publishing platform after the pair dreamed up the idea on a serviette at the same time as waiting for a flight on the Vancouver airport food court docket in 2006.

Wattpad temporarily become house to tales from dozens of genres because it allows any person to share their writing without cost and is available on telephones and tablets.

It become a household name around 2013 when Anna Todd, a Texas girl, started writing After, a fanfiction collection on the platform about One Direction singer Harry Styles.

Her stories were ultimately made into books and a movie series, which encouraged Wattpad to start book publishing and studio leisure divisions.

However, Lau admitted a sale wasn’t always his plan.

“We weren’t actively searching for dealers, however we’ve been speaking to traders alongside the way in which … to accelerate our enlargement,” he mentioned.

“We knew Naver for somewhat some time and we discovered after a few conversations we now have a shared imaginative and prescient.”

Probability to grow, get into animation, co-founder says

Naver, which expenses itself as “South Korea’s largest internet seek engine,” was once a super spouse as it owns digital comics platform Webtoon, he stated.

Webtoon is in the back of a few of the largest names in webcomics, including Lore Olympus, and has worked with the Jim Henson Company and manufacturers in the back of hit movies like the Lego Movie, the It franchise and Snowpiercer.

Lau stated Naver will offer Wattpad an opportunity to get into animation and to grow past the 90 million users — including greater than 5 million writers — that Wattpad has. Webtoon stated it has more than 72 million per 30 days energetic customers.

“Wattpad’s vision to entertain and attach the sector via stories fits perfectly with our vision for Webtoon and Naver’s content brand and we are pleased to have them join the Naver family,” Seong-sook Han, leader govt, stated in an announcement.

Google expands Canadian footprint with new jobs in Toronto, Montreal and Waterloo

The Purchase is anticipated to near within the second quarter of Wattpad’s monetary yr and is matter to regulatory approvals.

it is the newest in a string of gross sales that experience observed as soon as-promising Canadian tech companies snatched up by way of overseas homeowners in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Element AI, a Montreal-based company that creates artificial intelligence solutions for large businesses, signed a deal in November to be bought through ServiceNow, a Santa Clara, Calif., corporate that offers a cloud-based workflow technology.

San Francisco-primarily based “purchase now, pay later” company Confirm reached a deal to shop for Toronto rival PayBright for $340 million in early December.

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