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You may soon be able to buy shares in the popular Webtoon app as it files for IPO

The Webtoon logo in front of a space background

Webtoon Entertainment Inc. has filed for an initial public offering (IPO) in the US, if approved, it means you’ll be able to hop on your favourite shares app and buy this comic company’s shares.

Webtoon is a company based in Los Angeles but it is owned by the Korean company, Naver, which will continue to control the company after its IPO. According to Bloomberg, Webtoon may look to raise $500 million at a valuation of $3 billion to $4 billion.

While it’s pretty interesting to see such a popular company IPO, it’s worth noting that it could have a significant impact on users. One thing people like about Webtoon is that the comics can largely be read for free, but when the company goes public, there will be more pressure to become profitable which could see it trying to extract more money from its users.

According to Bloomberg, Webtoon had a net loss of $145 million last year on revenue of $1.28 billion. This is up from 2022 when the company lost $133 million on revenue of about $1 billion.

After going public, Webtoon will have the symbol WBTN and will be traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market. The IPO is being led by Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Evercore Inc.

According to the filing, Webtoon has around 170 million monthly active users in over 150 countries and 24 million creators.

Webtoon itself can be downloaded on Android and iOS devices. Once you make an account, you can choose from a huge collection of webtoons to read, they are usually split up into chapters so you can read through episodically as you have time.

The biggest innovation that webtoons have introduced, though, is that you scroll down until the end of the webtoon, rather than across. This makes them very easy to consume on a mobile device. Bloomberg believes that webtoons are one of South Korea’s popular cultural exports along with K-pop and drama series.

Source: Bloomberg

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