Naver to acquire storytelling incubator Wattpad for $594 mn

South Korea’s internet conglomerate Naver said on Wednesday that it will acquire Canadian entertainment platform operator Wattpad in a stock transaction valued at $593.6 million.

Naver is a popular search engine in South Korea, and competes with the likes of Google and Facebook.

The Toronto-based storytelling platform provides stories through its flagship app. It is a community of more than 90 million people globally who spend over 23 billion minutes a month engaged in original stories.

Naver said the acquisition is aimed at “strengthening its North American business and diversifying global content business.”

The move is expected to align Wattpad with Naver, the parent company of Line Webtoon, a global webtoon operator with an average of more than 70 million monthly active users.

“With the backing of Korean technology giant, Webtoon and Wattpad will collaborate to create a stronger and connected ecosystem across visual and textual storytelling content, with a combined reader base of over 160 million monthly users globally,” Webtoon said in a statement.

Line Webtoon is home to a plethora of creator-owned content, ranging from romance to fantasy.

Line Webtoon began its global service in English and Chinese in 2014 and has since added several more languages to tap deeper into the global market.