Image: Wattpad and Radish.
On May 10, Naver 네이버 acquired Toronto-based Wattpad in a USD 600m cash-and-stock deal; on May 11, Kakao 카카오 acquired Radish for USD 440m through its subsidiary Kakao Entertainment. Both Wattpad and Radish are smartphone apps for serialized fictions, akin to Youtube or Netflix for light novels.
Naver and Kakao operate South Korea’s top two “portal” sites, a one-stop website where users can find the latest news as well as the collection of shopping malls, blogs, cartoons, etc. Naver and Kakao will use their newest acquisitions as the distribution channels of their collection of light novels and webtoons into the North American market, where Wattpad and Radish boast millions of users.