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Webtoon Entertainment Sets $2.67 Billion Market Value Ahead of US Nasdaq Listing

Webtoon Entertainment, the world’s largest web comic platform, has set its market value at $2.67 billion (£2.11 billion) in anticipation of its US listing. The company’s shares are scheduled to begin trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange on 27 June at $21 each, the upper limit of their marketed range.

Based in Los Angeles, Webtoon Entertainment is owned by South Korean technology giant Naver, which has benefited from the rising online popularity of Korean and Japanese comics. Webtoon reports having 170 million monthly active users across more than 150 countries.

The company aims to sell 15 million shares and raise $315 million through its initial public offering (IPO). BlackRock, the world’s largest fund manager, has expressed interest in purchasing up to $50 million of shares.

Webtoon Entertainment also owns the Japanese web comic and manga app Line Manga, the web novel platform Wattpad, and the Korean web comic service Naver Webtoon. It offers thousands of titles spanning various genres, including action, romance, horror, and science fiction.

The webtoon industry, which focuses on online-only comics optimized for mobile reading, first emerged in South Korea two decades ago. Their global popularity has skyrocketed, making them a significant South Korean cultural phenomenon alongside K-pop and Korean dramas.

Webtoons are inexpensive to produce, often created by a single artist using a tablet, making popular comics highly profitable. The webtoon industry generated $4.7 billion in 2021 and is projected to grow to $60.1 billion by 2030, according to Spherical Insights & Consulting.


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