South Korea’s entertainment industry, which is gaining momentum in global television, music and film, is once again poised to inject heavy capital.
Kakao Entertainment, which spans K-pop, webtoon and online storytelling, announced Thursday that it has raised $966 million (1.2 trillion won) through a bond issue underwritten by its sovereign wealth fund Public Investment Fund (PIF). bottom. From Saudi Arabia, GIC from Singapore.
The move follows the 2021 listing of Hybe Corp. (formerly Big Hit), an injection of capital from Naver into CJ ENM’s Tving streaming platform, and massive new production hubs CJ ENM Studios and SLL (JTBC and J Contentree). following the launch of, and multiple moves to build. International delivery by South Korea’s Webtoon platform.
Kakao Entertainment is a privately held subsidiary of South Korean technology giant Kakao Corp., formed in 2021 through the merger of webtoon publishers Kakao Page and Kakao M (a cluster of music and television production shingles). This includes Baram Pictures and BH Entertainment, Starship Entertainment, one of South Korea’s largest talent management companies, and film producer Zip Cinema. Kakao Entertainment also operates Melon, Korea’s leading music streamer.
With the latest funding, Kakao Entertainment says it plans to further its international expansion and make more investments and acquisitions. In a statement announcing the new investment, Kakao Entertainment said it plans to use the proceeds to build its storytelling capabilities and intellectual property, particularly in North America.
Bae Jae-hyun, Chief Investment Officer of Kakao, said, “This demonstrates the global competitiveness and future potential of Kakao Entertainment’s unique intellectual property (IP) value chain that spans multiple categories of the entertainment industry. Bae also praised the company for being able to raise capital of this magnitude at a time when the world was on the brink of a global recession.
Bae said he expects half of the proceeds to grow the company’s existing global business in stories, IP and music, and the other half for mergers and acquisitions.
Webtoons, which emerged nearly 20 years ago with the spread of smartphones, have been the basis for numerous hit Korean and international TV series. Examples include Netflix’s ‘All of Us Are Dead’ and ‘Itaewon Class’, AppleTV+’s ‘Dr. Brain’ and Disney+’s upcoming ‘Moving’.
Kakao Entertainment already owns US webtoon platform Tapas, serial fiction app Radish, and fantasy fiction platform Wuxiaworld.
Online fiction platforms such as Radish and Wattpad (acquired by South Korean tech rival Naver in 2021) also have established fans, adapted for movies and series such as Nostromo Pictures’ Netflix original A Través de Mi Ventana. I have generated an IP with layers. “Kiss Booth” and “After”.