Radish, a mobile reading app offering serialized bingeable genre fiction, has been acquired by Kakao Entertainment, the entertainment media arm of Korean internet platform Kakao, in a transaction valued at $440 million. The Radish board and shareholders have approved the acquisition, which is expected to be finalized in June.
Under the terms of the agreement, Radish will maintain the autonomy of its brand and the management of its day-to-day operations. Radish founder and CEO Seungyoon Lee will stay with the company and continue to direct its operations. Lee will now also serve as global strategy officer of Kakao Entertainment. The acquisition will add Radish’s content and its fast-growing North American fan base to Kakao Entertainment’s IP platform of webtoon digital comics, novels, video, TV/movies, musical performance and more.
Lee said the acquisition will “take our business to the next level in this ever-evolving industry. We are excited about the growth opportunities for Radish, not only expanding our fan base but exploring new business opportunities as well. We will be utilizing Kakao Entertainment’s wide-ranging value chain to further exploit Radish’s original content.”
Founded in 2016, Radish is modeled after reading platforms in Korea and China. The app offers short serialized fiction, including such genres as romance, sci-fi, paranormal, LGBTQ, horror and more. The site offers early chapters for free and a micro-payments option that allows readers to open additional episodes quickly. The site’s content is produced TV-style.
Kakao Entertainment CEO Jinsoo Lee said that Radish “has found enormous success with fast-paced, original mobile content and undergone dramatic growth with a ten times increase in annual revenue last year. With the combination of Kakao’s expertise in the IP business and Radish’s strong North American foothold, we are excited about what we can achieve together.”