WEBTOON IPO Debuts on Nasdaq

WEBTOON, the online comics giant goes public today.

The latest tech company to go public is Los Angeles-based Webtoon Entertainment, a platform for content creators who make and sell digital comic books and manga. Here’s what you need to about Webtoon and its initial public offering.

What is Webtoon?

Webtoon Entertainment is a digital platform for content creators. The company allows comic book and manga artists to publish their work on the platform to reach audiences around the world.

Webtoon was founded in 2005 by its current CEO, Junkoo Kim, when he was working for South Korean technology giant Naver Corporation, which owns the majority of Webtoon. After the IPO, Naver will own over 60% of the shares in Webtoon and Japan’s LY Corporation will own about 25% of them, according to Bloomberg (via Yahoo Finance).

The above from Fast Company. The report continues:

How many Webtoon shares are available in its IPO?

For its initial public offering, Webtoon says it is offering 15 million shares of common stock.

What is Webtoon’s IPO price?

WBTN stock was priced at $21 per share, the top of its estimated range. At that price, Webtoon’s IPO will raise approximately $315 million. The company also says that an additional 2,380,952 shares of common stock will be issued to Naver Corporation for $21 each. That will raise another $50 million for Webtoon.

How much is Webtoon worth?

The IPO values Webtoon at $2.67 billion, according to Reuters.

Marketplace.org also reports:

Webtoon calls itself the world’s largest webcomic platform and has been around about two decades, with more than 24 million creators posting work to the site. Its parent company is the South Korean tech company Naver.

As long as there’s been an internet, cartoonists have been interested in using it to get their comics out to readers.

“The problem was figuring out how to get people to pay for them,” said Benjamin Woo, a communication and media studies professor at Carleton University, who studies comics.

Webtoon has been successful at figuring out a business model. The company sells ads and lets users pay to get early access to comics.

Follow WEBTOON (WBTN) on Nasdaq.

For more comics oriented reporting go to Comics Beat here and here.