The story so far
South Korean tech titan, Naver, announced its acquisition of Toronto-based Wattpad, the leading global community of readers and writers, for USD$600M+ in January 2021. What started in 2006 as the founders’ desire to read books and stories on mobile phones has blossomed into a global media platform available in over 50 languages for its 90 million monthly unique visitors.
The Wattpad vision has always been to entertain and connect the world through stories. It was supported by the mission of using the power of community and technology to unleash the potential of stories to the world. However, the real invention was to focus on writers — which beget the Wattpad flywheel. Get writers to Create their stories on Wattpad. This would Attract readers to the platform where they would Consume relevant stories and Connect with the community. Wattpad would then try and Amplify these stories both on its platform through its technology and off its platform through its Wattpad Studios division — which collectively, would ultimately Reward the creators.
Back in 2012, OMERS Ventures took a bet on a team of founders that we thought was disrupting the book publishing industry. Two years later, we doubled down on that bet believing Wattpad could spread its wings in a very vibrant digital media industry. By the the middle of 2019, it was clear that Wattpad had evolved to a completely different entertainment species. And the rest is history!
OMERS First Investment