Webtoon Startup to Rival Naver

By lunaradmin - Apr 07, 2015      
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If Japan has manga, Korea has manhwa – comics and print cartoons, read horizontally from left to right. Manhwa is becoming more popular throughout the world with each passing day. For the growing number of manhwa readers, a Santa Clara based Korean entrepreneur Chang Kim created the “YouTube of Comics” called Tapastic. This three-year-old platform allows artists to easily upload and distribute their webcomics pieces that are to be viewed by the readers. The company has raised a total funding of $3.4 million from Daum Kakao, Strong Ventures, 500 Startups, and Adam D’Angelo. With more than 5,000 content creators and readers from more than 200 countries, Tapastic is now competing with South Korea’s largest search portal Naver Corp., which started to offer webtoons in English. The company also partnered with another major search portal Daum, translating for their webtoon division that is worth $1 billion.

The webtoon industry in Korea is generating a total annual revenue of $200 million, with an average of 17 million monthly readers just on Naver Corp. Mr. Kim said, “Webtoons are not just for hardcore comic fans. The art is amazing, the humor is great, and the stories are accessible. It’s for everyone including workers like myself.”

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