The great rise of webtoons has prompted Naver to seek out global investors. Naver Webtoon is in talks with several global investors to attract up to $ 400 million before its planned Nasdaq Initial Public Offering (IPO) in the United States.
The company sought out large foreign institutional investors and ended up choosing a foreign investment bank as its financial advisor. Naver Webtoon hopes to establish partnerships with global and strategic investors to obtain a better offer price when it debuts on the US stock market.
Naver Webtoon spun off from its parent company Naver in 2017. Since then, Naver Webtoon has been expanding its business by focusing on global content, especially in North America.
Last year, the webtoon firm reorganized the governance structure of its global webtoon business under a US-based corporation with the goal of listing on the stock exchange. Naver previously listed its content subsidiary, Line Corporation , on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
Naver Webtoon’s business value is currently estimated at 5 trillion won. Annual sales have quadrupled in three years to 132.2 billion won last year from 34 billion won in 2017.
Last month, Naver acquired Canada’s number one web novel platform, Wattpad , to expand its reach in the global content market. The company spent $ 600 million to beat competitors like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Facebook, and Spotify to acquire a 100 percent stake in Wattpad.
Wattpad is the world’s largest social storytelling platform attracting 90 million monthly active users (MAUs). Naver Webtoon has 72 million MAUs on its platform, which adds up to 160 million MAUs when combined with Wattpad. This acquisition made Naver Webtoon the world’s largest webtoon and web novel platform.
Recently, Naver Webtoon acquired more than a 25% stake in the global webtoon platform Tappytoon, spending about 33.5 billion won.