[THE INVESTOR] Kakao Page, mobile messenger giant Kakao’s contents affiliate, on Sept. 28 said it has invested 40 billion won (US$35.96 million) in three major comic publishers in a bid to obtain more original contents.
Kakao invested 14.7 billion won in Haksan Publishing, 10 billion won in Seoul Media Comics and 15 billion won in Daewon C.I., in return for 19.8 percent, 22.2 percent and 19.8 percent stake, respectively.
The firm said the investments will help it secure original contents through strategic partnerships. It plans to expand contents overseas along with its merchandising business.
The three firms are leading publishers in Korea that make up 49 percent of comic paper book market, according to the Korea Manhwa Contents Agency.
Daewon CI publishes popular comics like “Ruler of the Land,” “Slam Dunk” and “PokeMonster,” among others, while Haksan Publishing, also an affiliate of Daewon Media, publishes “Mr. Sushi King” and “Attack of Titan.”
Seoul Media Comics, subsidiary of Seoul Media Group, publishes “Dragon Ball Super” and “Case Closed,” better known as “Detective Conan.”
Kakao is seeking to produce more video contents based on its webtoons and web fictions, replicating the success with “What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim,” a popular TV drama series of the same title that made its debut on Kakao Page.
By Ahn Sung-mi (email@example.com)