Korean online giant Kakao Entertainment has signed definitive agreements to acquire two American storytelling platforms, Tapas Media, Inc and Radish Media, Inc. The acquisitions are intended to pave the way for Kakao Entertainment to expand its original content business in North America and other English-speaking regions.
Tapas is known for its mobile comic book content and webtoons has been valued at $150 million. Radish Media, mobile fiction platform and app has been valued at $440 million. That's a total of $590 million, for online comic books and stuff.
Kakao Entertainment became a significant stakeholder of Tapas last November and has since been distributing the company's blockbuster webtoons, such as A Business Proposal, Space Sweepers, The Uncanny Counter, and Navillera through the Tapas platform, which saw sales increase five times last year. They recently hired former DC Comics Executive Editor Michele R. Wells as Chief Content Officer and are currently looking for a new Editor-In-Chief.
And at the same time, Sandy Resnick, who was also made redundant by DC Comics last year, as International Publishing, Ad Sales & Custom Creative Studio. And he has been talking about what he worked on before he was left. He writes;
Some of the last partnerships I worked on at DC involve webtoons. While most of those are for original webtoon series in Korea and the U.S., we also arranged for Sigongsa to reformat select U.S. comics into webtoons. We started producing promotional webtoons in 2017, which were well received by younger fans who had never picked up a graphic novel. Now, DC webtoons have finally started running as regular features on KakaoPage.
Here are the first releases. Wonder Woman, with chapters from Wonder Woman Rebirth, is open read, Batman and Justice League need you to register and log in. Oh and not live in the UK it seems.
"Tapas and Radish are two amazingly powerful storytelling platforms, and we welcome them into the Kakao Entertainment family with open arms as we rapidly ramp up our global operations," said Jinsoo Lee, CEO of Kakao Entertainment. "The partnership with Tapas and our webtoon IPs has already borne fruit and given us even more confidence in the North American marketplace. Radish gives us the platform to publish our web novels for the first time there, and we see endless potential. With the combination of our expertise in the IP business and Tapas and Radish's strong North American foothold, we are excited about what we can achieve together. Furthermore, Chang Kim and Seungyoon Lee (Founder and CEO of Tapas and Radish, respectively) have already demonstrated exceptional leadership in the US webtoon and web novel marketplace and we could not be more pleased to announce that they will continue to bring their considerable insights and experience under the Kakao Entertainment banner."
Chang Kim and Seungyoon Lee will retain their day-to-day management autonomy and also become Global Strategy Officers within Kakao Entertainment.
"We're thrilled to join forces with Kakao Entertainment, an entertainment content juggernaut with a massive library of original webtoon IPs, which can be introduced to the US audience through the Tapas platform," said Tapas Media CEO and Founder Chang Kim. "Our team, our unique company culture, and our awesome creator community stay the same while we race ahead with the exact same mission but on a much bigger scale.