Content, as they say, is aristocrat — but these days, that may be loyal only for as prolonged as you can figure out a good business indication to broach it. And today, a startup formed out of Toronto, Canada is re-upping its coffers to fill out its aspiration to do just that.
Wattpad, a storytelling and reading/viewing app that combines crowdsourced calm with professionally constructed material, has picked up another $51 million (C$61.25 million) in venture appropriation — income that it plans to use to deposit in its tech (such as the appurtenance training that helps compare its creators with consumers, and which identifies stories that are ‘trending’ and worth revisiting for some-more artistic essay and video sharpened around them as themes); and in its enlargement into some-more formats.
The company has raised $117.8 million (US) to date, and while it’s not publicly disclosing its valuation, according to PitchBook (which I’ve found is very reliable), post-money it is valued at just under $398 million.
“Entertainment is in a duration of disruption, and how people find and knowledge stories is evolving,” Allen Lau, the CEO who co-founded the company with Ivan Yuen, pronounced in a statement. “With a global village of users, hundreds of millions of stories and data-driven proceed to assisting people and partners find good content, Wattpad is heading both sides of this equation. We commission different storytellers all over the world, assisting them build a village of ardent readers; at the same time, we also connect Hollywood with stories that have large built-in audiences.”
Last year, the company combined video (a swarming market, deliberation the outrageous elephant called YouTube in the room), and a paid subscription tier, and currently pronounced that it’s penetrating to do some-more opposite the board, in TV, film, digital media and publishing.
So far, Wattpad has proven out its indication in the form of user growth. Its village grew over 40 percent in 2017, it said, and now has 65 million users globally with story uploads now at 400 million.
Notably, it appears that a lot of that expansion continues to come from Asia, judging by the investors in this round.
It includes Tencent (owner of WeChat and a big financier in Snapchat and generally a outrageous player in digital media in China); Kickstart Ventures, which is partial of Globe Telecom out of the Philippines (where Wattpad has been renouned for years); and the Peterson Group out of Hong Kong.
“Wattpad has built a artistic village for storytellers and story lovers,” said Martin Lau, President of Tencent Holdings Limited, in a matter (no propinquity between the two Lau’s, it seems). “The company is providing opportunities to new and determined writers, transforming how party is detected and produced. We are blissful to support Wattpad, a personality in digitizing and information enhancing the party industry.”
Others embody BDC (the Canadian government’s bank dedicated to appropriation and constrained Canadian businesses at home and generally abroad), Peterson Group, and existent financier Raine, the London-based organisation that has invested in other digital media firms like Vice and Soundcloud, and also has ties to Asia, in that it suggested Japan’s Softbank on its merger of Sprint. Previous investors also embody Union Square Ventures, Khosla, AME Cloud Ventures, Aug Capital and others.
While one side of Wattpad’s business is formed on work that people upload to the platform, it’s also tied in with a few big names both in terms of sourcing element and then successive placement both in imitation and in video. Back in 2007 when it was just starting out, it inked a understanding to discharge 17,000 titles on mobile from the Project Gutenberg; and it partnerships with NBCUniversal’s Universal Cable Productions (UCP), eOne and CW Seed. Other publisher partners embody HarperCollins, Hachette Audio and Hachette Romans.
It will be engaging to see how Wattpad continues to build out the business longer term. There have been a series of companies in the wider media space that have reached lofty valuations on big hopes of disrupting the universe by blending in tech alongside constrained content; but some of that has not utterly played out how founders and investors have expected.
The pivotal thing here, it seems, is the assembly of creators and consumers peaceful to use its height to bond with any other, and the lure (to investors) of that attribute and the height that encourages it.
“Wattpad has grown something truly special: a village that cares deeply about stories of authentic human experiences, a record height that unlocks the concept enterprise to share those stories and bond with other people, and a information set that enhances the value of these shared stories for writers and readers alike,” said Minette Navarrete, President, Kickstart Ventures, in a statement. “We’re unapproachable to join Wattpad as an investor, assisting enhance its prophesy to perform and bond the universe by stories.”
“Wattpad is the future of entertainment,” added Peter Misek of BDC. “By harnessing the energy of verticalized information and AI, Wattpad has unbarred the loyal value of calm creation, enabling discovery, prolongation and placement in exponentially new ways. The future can be found on Wattpad.”
We’re anticipating to pronounce with Wattpad’s CEO Allen Lau after and will refurbish this post as and when we do with any some-more insights.