We're always in constant demand for top talent: Wattpad CEO
Wattpad Corp. is growing.
The Canadian storytelling-and-entertainment online platform plans to add nearly 100 new jobs this year, boosting its team by close to 50 per cent, according to a company release.
The majority of these new roles will be in Toronto and Halifax, in areas like engineering, marketing and content, Wattpad said.
The expansion announcement comes alongside news that South Korean internet giant Naver Co. Ltd., completed its acquisition of Wattpad on Monday — a cash-and-stock transaction valued at more than US$600 million first disclosed in January. Wattpad's headquarters will stay in Canada, with Chief Executive Officer Allen Lau remaining at the helm.
Lau alluded to hiring more staff in a Jan. 20 broadcast interview with BNN Bloomberg, but did not provide specifics at the time.
“[The Naver deal] will only bring more jobs to Canada,” he said.
Wattpad will be aligned with Naver’s Webtoon division, a digital comic publishing portal with a monthly average of 76 million users globally. The two brands will have the opportunity to collaborate on publishing online content, according to Webtoon founder and CEO Jun Koo Kim, in a statement.
"Alongside Naver and Webtoon, we’re positioned for faster growth and continued innovation to support writers and transform publishing and entertainment around the world,” Lau said in a statement.
In January, BNN Bloomberg’s Jon Erlichman reported that Naver was not the first company to make an offer to buy Wattpad. TikTok owner ByteDance Ltd. and Spotify Technology S.A. also made bids, while Netflix Inc., Amazon.com Inc’s Prime unit and Facebook Inc., are said to have taken a look at acquiring Wattpad as well.
That M&A interest in Wattpad came as the online platform has 90 TV and film projects in development with partners around the world, including Netflix. More than 90 million people have registered an account on the Wattpad platform, the company said.