Wattpad, a Toronto-based multi-platform entertainment company for original stories, has secured undisclosed financing from Times Bridge, the investment arm of Indian media business The Times Group.
The investment forms part of a strategic partnership intended to expand Wattpad’s operations in India.
Working with Times Bridge, Wattpad will grow its Indian community of readers and writers, establish new partnerships, and create opportunities to turn stories into books, TV shows, films and digital projects.
Led by CEO Allen Lau, Wattpad has raised more than $150 million from investors.
They include AME Cloud Ventures, August Capital, BDC Capital, Golden Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Kickstart Ventures, Northleaf Capital Partners, OMERS Ventures, Tencent Holdings, Union Square Ventures and Version One Ventures.
Wattpad and Times Bridge Announce Strategic Partnership to Grow Wattpad’s Presence in India
March 13, 2019
TORONTO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Wattpad, the global multi-platform entertainment company for original stories, and Times Bridge, the global investments and partnerships arm of The Times Group, today announced a new partnership and strategic investment to grow Wattpad’s presence in India and reach new users.
The partnership will give Wattpad a strategic advantage in expanding its Indian operations. Working with Times Bridge, Wattpad will grow its local community of readers and writers, establish new strategic partnerships, and create opportunities for Wattpad Studios to work with local partners to turn Wattpad stories into books, TV shows, films, and digital projects.
Allen Lau, CEO & co-founder, Wattpad said: “We’re thrilled to work with Times Bridge expand our footprint in the region and create more opportunities for India’s rich literary community to tell their stories, reaching new audiences in India and around the world.”
Rishi Jaitly, CEO of Times Bridge, said, “Times Bridge’s mission is to bring the world’s best ideas to India and share India’s best insights with the world. Wattpad is a bold, proven idea that has changed how audiences around the world create and experience stories. Our investment will advance Wattpad’s mission, and original storytelling, across the Indian subcontinent, unlocking the creativity of many millions along the way. We are delighted to be working with a partner who sees growing creativity, diversity and value across the Indian market.”
The deal follows Wattpad’s recent announcement that Devashish Sharma has joined the company Wattpad’s first Country Manager for India.
Devashish Sharma, Country Manager for India at Wattpad said: “Millions of Indian readers and writers have already found a home Wattpad. Times Bridge and The Times Group have an unmatched media and entertainment portfolio, and connections with some of India’s most-respected authors and cultural figures. We’re excited to work together to create new opportunities for Indian storytellers.”
With a global community of more than 70 million people, Wattpad empowers diverse storytellers from all over the world, helping local storytellers connect with readers everywhere. The company’s Story DNA machine learning technology allows it to discover stand-out stories among the 565 million on the platform, which are then transformed into books, TV shows, films, and digital projects. Some of Wattpad’s international entertainment partners include iflix, Huayi Brothers Korea, Bavaria Fiction, Sony, SYFY, and many others. Wattpad recently launched Wattpad Books, a new publishing division that will bring Wattpad stories to bookshelves everywhere.
Times Bridge’s previous investments include Uber, Airbnb, Coursera, Houzz, MUBI and Smule among others.
Wattpad’s vision is to entertain and connect the world through stories. Using the power of community and technology, the global multiplatform entertainment company is unleashing the full potential of stories to the world — in any format. Wattpad’s flagship app is the world’s leading social storytelling platform, home to a community of more than 70 million people who spend over 22 billion minutes a month engaged in original stories. Wattpad’s Story DNA Machine Learning technology allows the company to understand and discover stories among the more than 565 million uploads on the platform. Wattpad Studios and Wattpad Books are transforming entertainment and publishing, using data-backed insights to turn Wattpad stories into books, films, TV shows, and digital projects. Wattpad Brand Partnerships offers a full suite of advertising products to help brands build deep engagement with Millennial and Gen Z consumers. Tap by Wattpad, the company’s second storytelling product, offers immersive interactive entertainment experiences in over a dozen languages. The company is proudly based in Toronto, Canada. Learn more at: company.wattpad.com
Learn more at: company.wattpad.com
About Times Bridge
Times Bridge is a leading investments firm with a mission to bring the world’s best ideas to India and share India’s best insights with the world. Its current portfolio includes Airbnb, Smule, Coursera, Houzz, Uber, Thrive, and MUBI, among others. By providing unmatched market leadership to its select partners and by harnessing the assets of The Times Group, India’s largest media company, Times Bridge accelerates growth and immersion across the Indian subcontinent for leaders who believe in winning in and learning from India.
For more information, visit https://timesbridge.com/ and follow @timesbridge on Twitter.
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