Naver Completes Wattpad Acquisition


South Korean conglomerate Naver has completed its acquisition of Wattpad in a cash and stock transaction valued at more than $600 million.

Wattpad will remain headquartered in Canada under the continued leadership of founders Allen Lau and Ivan Yuen. Lau, CEO and co-founder, will report to WEBTOON CEO Jun Koo Kim.

The plan is for Wattpad to grow its teams by nearly 50 percent in 2021, adding close to 100 new roles in engineering, marketing, content and other parts of the company.

With a global community of more than 90 million people, Wattpad is a global leader in social storytelling and entertainment. Along with sponsored brand partnerships, and TV, film and book adaptations, Wattpad Paid Stories are just one of a growing number of paths for Wattpad writers to earn money from their work.

“Wattpad has created something truly unique: an engaged, positive global community of people who share a passion for great stories,” said Seong-Sook Han, CEO of Naver. “Through this acquisition, it is expected that the synergy between WEBTOON and Wattpad will be even greater. Gen Z around the world has fallen in love with storytelling platforms like Wattpad and WEBTOON. With a growing global user base of Gen Z readers and writers on Wattpad and WEBTOON, combined with hundreds of millions of incredible stories to fuel on-screen hits, Naver is quickly becoming an important player in the global entertainment and content market.”

“Wattpad has redefined writing in the digital era, creating new ways for indie authors to build a global audience and make money,” said Kim. “We’re thrilled to have Wattpad join Naver and WEBTOON, aligning our teams and global communities to create more opportunities for writers everywhere.”

“We founded Wattpad with a vision to entertain and connect the world through stories,” said Lau. “By joining the Naver family of companies, we’re continuing that vision, with more resources and expertise to grow our global community and help writers everywhere achieve their dreams. Alongside Naver and WEBTOON, we’re positioned for faster growth and continued innovation to support writers and transform publishing and entertainment around the world.”