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Kakao Entertainment integrates US webtoon, webnovel subsidiaries

Kakao Entertainment integrates US webtoon, webnovel subsidiaries

Posted May. 20, 2022 08:03,   

Updated May. 20, 2022 08:03


Kakao Entertainment is integrating its U.S. subsidiaries of webtoon and webnovel platforms that the company acquired majority stakes last year in a move to strengthen ‘Beyond Korea’ strategy focused on contents.

Kakao Entertainment said on Thursday it is merging its webtoon subsidiary Tapas Media and webnovel subsidiary Radish Media. The merger will be done through acquisition of Tapas by Radish, with the new combined entity to be headed by Tapas CEO Kim Chang-won. The new company has yet to be named.

Tapas, the first webtoon platform in North America, and Radish, a webtoon company that was established in 2016, was annexed as Kakao Entertainment’s subsidiaries last year. Tapas has estimated monthly active users of over 3.2 million and is thus considered one of North America’s top webtoon platforms.

Analysts say the merger is part of Kakao Entertainment’s efforts to generate synergistic effect by integrating capabilities of story intellectual property that Tapas and Radish have been building up in North America. The combined entity will include not only Tapas and Radish but also Wuxiaworld, which Radish acquired last year. Three service areas will continue to be provided separately even after the merger.

Kakao Entertainment expects some 100,000 creators that have been secured by Tapas and Radish will be able to churn out large volumes of IPs including webtoons and webnovels that are not restricted to certain genres. The merged entity will also step up efforts to expand original IPs into diverse areas including audio contents, metaverse, and NFT. In fact, Radish plans to introduce audiobooks on major creative works by targeting the audio contents market that is growing rapidly in North America from the middle of this year.

Do-Hyong Kim dodo@donga.com