South Korea-based entertainment company Kakao Entertainment has announced that they’ve acquired the webcomics site Tapas Media for an estimated $510 million.
Chang Kim, who founded Tapas in 2012, will continue to oversee the day-to-day management of Tapas and also become Global Strategy Officers within Kakao Entertainment.
Kakao Entertainment was already a stakeholder of Tapas as of last November, and several of Kakoa’s webcomics are available via Tapas, including A Business Proposal, Space Sweepers, The Uncanny Counter, and Navillera.
“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,” Kim said. “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.”
This was one of two acquisitions Kakao announced today, the other being the U.S.-based Radish, which offers “bite-sized fiction” via their mobile app.
“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. “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.”
Kakao is an entertainment juggernaut in Korea, operating as a record label, talent agency, music production company, event management, concert production company, music publishing house, internet properties and more, through various subsidiaries. They’ve been expanding rapidly outside of Korea, in Japan, North America, Greater China, Southeast Asia and India.