South Korean Internet company Navar Corp. Watpet was officially purchased for C $ 754 million (US $ 600 million).
While the deal is now in effect, Toronto-based WhatsApp has become a Never brand with WebTone, which is the global leader in web comics and will be working closely with WhatsApp in the future. The main use of WhatsApp will continue to operate independently as the two content companies explore new ways to collaborate. Alan Love Weptoon, CEO and co-founder of Watbad, will file a complaint with CEO Jun Koo Kim.
The deal was first announced in January following reports that Watbad was in talks with several parties after an “internet company” received an unsolicited acquisition attempt from the US.
“Concerned neo-hippies and their global warming, i’ll tell ya.”
– Alan Lowe, Whatbad
Lau, who spoke with Betacit in January, said he had acquired the next installment of Watpat’s trip. In a recent interview, the CEO said the deal allows Watpad to increase its range, strengthen its IP strategy and accelerate its long-term goals. The company aims to “revolutionize” the way traditional entertainment is made and to invent new ways of telling what stories.
“This transaction is about business acceleration,” Lau said, adding that the acquisition nearly doubled Watbad’s audience and allowed it to expand into new forms of entertainment. The merger with WEBTOON will turn Watbad’s stories into comics and animated films, and thanks to Watbad as stories on the WEBTOON platform have the potential to turn into movies and books, La said.
To support this acceleration, Watbad is expected to increase its team size by more than 50% over the next year by hiring nearly 100 new employees. The company, which has more than 220 people, is involved in engineering, marketing and content. The majority of the staff will focus on Watpat’s own port in Toronto, but will also include enrollment in its Halifax team.
The company first announced plans to open a second headquarters in Halifax at the end of 2019. Although COVID-19 was pushed toward long-distance work, Watbad expanded its presence in the city and Lowe said his company was committed to opening a head office.
Related: Following the acquisition of Watbad, CEO Alan Law says, “I haven’t done it yet.”
To support its expansion on the East Coast, Watpad has pledged $ 1.3 million under Nova Scotia’s payroll rebate scheme. To get the discount, WhatsApp must hire 88 full-time employees for Halifax over the next five years. To date, the company has hired 16 Halifax employees and claims to be on track to reach 20 by the summer.
“One year from now it is ahead of our plan, so I’m very excited to see Atlantic Canada offer a growth opportunity,” Lau said. “This acquisition could accelerate this growth.”
The COVID-19 epidemic played a significant role in the overall growth experienced by Watbad last year. Lau said the size of Watpet’s audience and new signatures, in many measurements, have increased by 30 to 50 percent over the past year. The CEO attributed some of these to consumer changing habits, saying they now spend more time at home.
“We are in a fantastic time for digital entertainment because the demand is greater than ever,” Lau said. ” [It is] Incredible growth and acquisition will allow us to grow even faster. “
Thanks to its integration with WEBTOON, WhatsApp now has access to a total of 166 million monthly active users. IP Hive, which has been testing a data and audience since its inception, is turning its money into stories, books, movies, podcasts and TV products on its platform.
Related: The Upside Foundation reaches 300 members as the biggest WhatsApp release marks a good start to 2021
However, the financial growth of WhatsApp has historically not been commensurate with the size of its user base. According to The Globe and Mail earlier this year, Watpad will have annual revenue of $ 40 million. Waugh did not disclose Watpet’s earnings, but said the beta kit was “financially in good condition” after liquidity turned positive in the quarter before the acquisition with Navarre ended.
Recently, Watbad launched the new branded entertainment offer Watbad Brand Originals to create branded TV series, movies, podcasts and digital media projects from success stories. The company has been developing 90 TV and movie projects with partners around the world, including the upcoming Netflix original film starring Nostromo Pictures ETC.
“Joining WEBTOON under the umbrella of Watbad Never is a big step towards becoming a world leader in multimedia entertainment,” WEBTOONCEO Kim said earlier this year. “Watbad and Weptoon are very interested in helping creators tell their stories in their own way, and both represent PI’s world-leading collections of inspired and imaginative storytelling. “