SEOUL, Jan. 12, 2023 — Kakao Entertainment today announced it has raised 1.2 trillion won from leading sovereign wealth funds, which will be used to accelerate its global growth plans across all business divisions. The company will issue new shares through third-party allotment for the investment.
“It’s significant that we were able to secure funds of this scale at a time when both the Korean and global markets face a lot of uncertainty and investment sentiment is weaker,” said Kakao Corp.’s Chief Investment Officer and Executive Vice President Bae Jae-hyun, who led the deal. “This is testament to the global competitiveness and future growth potential of Kakao Entertainment’s unique IP value chain, which spans multiple categories in the entertainment industry.”
The newly secured funds will further help Kakao Entertainment navigate the ultra-competitive entertainment market with greater stability and flexibility, as it looks to solidify its position on the global stage.
The company’s unique portfolio is composed of three business divisions: Story, Media, and Music. Kakao Entertainment aims to spearhead growth in K-culture worldwide and propel Kakao Group’s overarching vision of expanding to markets beyond Korea. Along with advancing business in each division, the company will continue to unearth strategic opportunities to generate synergy among webtoons, K-pop, as well as K-dramas and movies.
Boasting Korea’s largest library of original webtoons and web novels, Kakao Entertainment has built a global webtoon platform network in North America and Asia and aims to expand its library of stories for global users. Key to its growth strategy is North America, where it established Tapas Entertainment, bringing three popular digital storytelling platforms – Tapas, Radish and Wuxiaworld – under one roof. With its 100,000-strong community of creators, the company will seek opportunities to develop popular webtoons and web novels into movies and TV shows.
The media division brings together top creative talent in production and combines this with its business know-how to produce hit content. Last year, it released 15 shows and movies with many such as “Business Proposal,” “Hunt,” “Narco-Saints,” and “Broker,” gaining popularity with global audiences. With a strong studio system, the company has a host of projects lined up for this year, including “Gyeongseong Creature” (Netflix series), “The Match” (Netflix film), and “The Worst of Evil” (Disney+ series).
The music division leads Korea’s K-pop scene with streaming platform Melon, its dominant market share in music distribution rights in the country, and a multi-label management system for globally loved K-pop artists. Capitalizing on strong growth in Korea, the division will continue to expand globally through distribution partners and further diversify its library of music. It will also focus on growing the fandom for its K-pop artists and build a stronger presence in markets through tours, album releases, and activities to engage fans.