Kakao Entertainment Acquires 100% Stake in Tapas


Los Angeles, CA (May 11, 2021) – Continuing their global mission to create super IP across multimedia platforms, the leading digital publisher of webcomics and novels, Tapas Media, Inc., has been acquired by Kakao Entertainment in a cash transaction announced today. The acquisition will expand Kakao Entertainment’s original content business in North America and other English-speaking regions.

The terms of the agreement give Kakao Entertainment a 100% stake in Tapas, for a transaction valued at $510M. CEO and Founder, Chang Kim, will remain in his role as CEO and become a Global Strategy Officer within Kakao Entertainment. Kim will provide insight into the US Market while continuing to focus on developing IP on the Tapas platform.

“We’re so thrilled to join forces with Kakao Entertainment. To me, it just makes perfect sense. Kakao Entertainment is relatively unknown outside of Asia, but they’re an entertainment content juggernaut with a massive library of original IP, which can be introduced to the US audience through the Tapas platform,” says Chang Kim, CEO and Founder, Tapas Media, Inc. “Meanwhile, with Kakao Entertainment’s backing, we will continue the exact same mission, but with on a bigger scale. This merger means a change of cap table, not of mission. Our team, our unique company culture, and our awesome creator community – everything will stay the same. Kakao Entertainment is super impressed with our recent success. Our revenue grew five times last year, making us one of the top reading apps in the US; We developed more than 80 original stories with our creators, which are now being pitched as TV, film, and print book projects. Obviously when something is working well, you want to keep the formula. So, we will stay on course, just moving much more aggressively; and Kakao Entertainment is fully on board with the plan.”

“Tapas is one of the fastest growing webtoon platforms in North America. Since the second half of last year, Kakao Entertainment has been partnering closely with Tapas to showcase our original IP to the US audience and the exponential resulting growth gave us confidence about the synergies between the two companies. Furthermore, I am looking forward to the insight Chang will bring to Kakao Entertainment’s global operations, given his expertise and leadership in the North American market,” said Jinsoo Lee, CEO of Kakao Entertainment.

Headquartered in Los Angeles, Tapas is a pioneer of mobile storytelling platforms in the US and have found success in the rapidly growing mobile stories market with more than 8 billion pageviews of 96,000 original series – both webcomics and digital novels. Tapas’ microtransaction-based digital currency (Ink) empowers readers to directly support their favorite creators and stories, generating revenue for creators.  Tapas saw five times year-over-year revenue growth in 2020, averaging more than $2M per month for creators, making it one of the top 3 grossing comic apps in the US.

Tapas have spent almost a decade dedicated to developing a creator-first ecosystem with an open publishing platform and creator community. Tapas is not just a creator platform, it also produces original content with creators – content that expands into additional business opportunities including development deals in film and television, book publishing, audio, and other ancillary business. Recent Tapas announcements include Scholastic signing global publishing rights for the critically-acclaimed Studio Tapas original series Magical Boy – releasing as a graphic novel on November 2, 2021; a partnership with Zoic Studios for television and cross-platform adaptation of the AI thriller Tapas original, Mnemosyne; and Frolic Media and Madison Wells are producing a scripted podcast and developing the TV adaptation of the modern office-place romance series, Yes, My Boss!. The expanded partnership with Kakao Entertainment furthers this mission broadening creator opportunities on a global level as they are a leader in the Korean web novel and webcomic industries, with a successful track record of creating super IPs made into secondary formats such as films, TV series, games, and live performances.

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