Affirma Capital invests $38m in US digital content producer Terapin Studios

South Korean 10,000 won note is seen on U.S. 100 dollar notes in this picture illustration taken in Seoul, South Korea, December 15, 2015. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

Singapore-based private equity firm Affirma Capital announced that it has pumped in a total of $38 million in US-headquartered digital content producer Terapin Studios.

The investment was part of a $93-million co-investment made with Korean private equity firm NPX Private Equity, according to the announcement.

Terapin Studios is engaged in the production of digital content such as web fiction and webtoon, a new type of media in Korea. It aims to create immersive experiences in the form of games, metaverse, and NFTs.

The digital content producer said it will use the fresh funding to acquire Toomics, one of the top 5 webtoon platform in South Korea. Toomics serves webtoon series in 10 languages globally, including Korean, English, French, Spanish, German, and Chinese.

According to the announcement, Toomics generated more than $50 million of revenue and continued to record stable profits in 2021. Following the acquisition, Toomics is expected to become a pivotal part of the digital content value chain under the Terapin umbrella.

“The global digital comics market is accelerating its growth backed by secular digitalization and Terapin is one of the leading content providers and platforms in the space,” said Taeyub Kim, founding partner and head of Korea at Affirma Korea.

The global webcomics market size was $6.7 billion in 2020 and the market is projected to grow to $11.12 billion in 2028, at a CAGR of 6.1% in the 2021-2028 period, according to Fortune Business Insights.

Terapin Studios CEO Samuel Hwang said Korean content has been under focused attention from consumers around the world.

“This is not a temporary fad but a secular trend that reflects the potential of Korean content to continuously attract global consumers,” he added.

Affirma closed Ascenta V at 543 billion won (about $473 million), twice the amount of its predecessor fund Ascenta IV, in October 2021. Early this year, it backed the $75-million Series B funding in mobility startup Beam. Prior to Beam, Affirma invested in South Korea’s T Map Mobility in April 2021, marking the first investment by its fifth fund.

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