S Korea’s Naver to acquire Canadian entertainment company Wattpad for $600m

Photo: Webtoon website

Canada-based global multi-platform entertainment company Wattpad has agreed to be acquired by South Korean internet company Naver Corp in a $600 million cash-and-stock deal, it announced on Wednesday.

With the acquisition, Wattpad and its global community of over 90 million users will align with Naver’s Webtoon, a leading digital comics publisher with an average of over 72 million monthly active users.

The acquisition will allow Wattpad to continue to accelerate its international growth and success. The company will remain headquartered in Canada under the continued leadership of founders Allen Lau and Ivan Yuen.

The acquisition is expected to close in Q2 2021, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

“Wattpad joining Webtoon under the Naver umbrella is a big step towards us becoming a leading global multimedia entertainment company,” said Webtoon’s founder and CEO, Jun Koo Kim.

In 2018, Wattpad had raised $51 million from Tencent Holdings, BDC, Globe Telecom’s Kickstart Ventures, Peterson Group, Canso, and Raine Ventures.

The company had earlier raised $117.8 million from international investors in Asia, the US, and Canada.

Naver Corp. is a global tech company, with properties including South Korea’s largest search portal Naver, messenger app Line, global digital comics platform Naver Webtoon and social media platform Naver Band.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.