The South Korean internet giant Kakao has come to terms to acquire the webcomics company Tapas Media in an all-cash transaction of $510 million (US). Kakao is acquiring Tapas through its media subsidiary, Kakao Entertainment.
"We're so thrilled to join forces with Kakao Entertainment. To me, it just makes perfect sense," says Tapas Media founder/CEO Chang Kim in the announcement. "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."
While Tapas will now be developing Kakao's content, the webcomics company will continue its current strategy with webcomics and prose writing - with Kim even saying all of that will now be 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," Kim continues. "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."
Kim will remain as CEO of Tapas, while also taking on the role of global strategy officer with its parent company, Kakao Entertainment.
Originally launched in 2012 as Comics Panda, Tapas Media has become one of the giants in the webcomics sector. Last year, the company reported an average daily revenue of $60,000 and boasts 8 billion page views across 96,000 original webcomics/prose novels. In addition to its deals for creator-owned comics, Tapas has partnerships with Scholastic, Boom! Studios, the Hachette Book Group, and more.
Earlier this year, Tapas hired former DC co-editor-in-chief Michele Wells to be its chief creative officer.
Tapas is one of many ways to read comics digitally - check out our list of the best digital comics readers for Android and iOS devices.