Radish Media Inc., a New York-based mobile storytelling platform under global entertainment company Kakao Entertainment Corp., today announced that it has acquired 100% of the shares of Wuxiaworld Limited. Based in Hong Kong, Wuxiaworld is the largest English-language, Asian fantasy fiction platform in the U.S.
Wuxiaworld was founded by Jingping Lai, a former American diplomat who started translating Chinese martial arts fiction into English out of his love for these works. The platform grew organically through the work of like-minded fans of Asian fantasy fiction, who have collectively translated over a hundred thousand chapters of Chinese and Korean fiction into English and continue to translate dozens more daily. The platform, which includes the www.wuxiaworld.com website and associated apps, has millions of page views each day from users in over 100 countries worldwide.
This acquisition was led by Seungyoon Lee, the founder and CEO of Radish. He is also the Global Strategy Officer of Kakao Entertainment and oversees key partnerships in the North American storytelling market. The insight that drove this acquisition was Wuxiaworld’s unrivaled positioning: it is the world’s only premium serial fiction player with a majority male audience. Radish’s audience is primarily female-driven, making the addition of Wuxiaworld the perfect complement to diversifying Kakao Entertainment’s web fiction portfolio in the U.S. market.
Moreover, Wuxiaworld’s readership has already demonstrated a deep appetite for Kakao Entertainment’s popular martial arts and fantasy fiction works. Korean content such as “The Second Coming of Gluttony” and “Overgeared” make up approximately 5% of the Wuxiaworld library, but are among the top grossing IPs, driving almost a quarter of its revenue. This acquisition merges Kakao Entertainment’s rich collection of Korean web fiction, Radish’s expertise in delivering premium mobile fiction to U.S. consumers, and Wuxiaworld’s commitment to translation excellence, in order to expedite the companies’ collective growth in the U.S. and greater English-speaking markets.
“Wuxiaworld is a truly gem of a company. Supported by strong word-of-mouth and an active community, 85% of Wuxiaworld’s total revenue comes through content purchased by a monthly subscription model. The company continues to grow impressively, with annual year-over-year profit growth of up to 40%. With this acquisition, Radish and Kakao Entertainment hopes to further realize Wuxiaworld’s infinite growth potential to reach a new and wider demographic in the U.S. market” said Seungyoon Lee, Founder/CEO of Radish and Global Strategy Officer of Kakao Entertainment Corp.
“I am honored to partner with Radish and Kakao Entertainment through this acquisition. Both companies are committed to creating high quality mobile fiction, which forms the basis for their strong market leadership in the U.S. and Korea. With this acquisition, the window of opportunity is greater for all of us,” said Jingping Lai, Founder and CEO of Wuxiaworld.
Jingping Lai will retain his day-to-day management and autonomy of Wuxiaworld. Wuxiaworld will tap into Kakao Entertainment and Radish resources to optimize its website and mobiles app and enhance marketing capabilities in the U.S. market. Kakao Entertainment and Radish will also help Wuxiaworld implement diverse content subscription models to provide users with more ways to access the content they love. Most importantly of all, Wuxiaworld will now have dramatically greater access to Kakao Entertainment IPs and be able to expand the Korean web fiction offerings in the platform.
Following the acquisition, Kakao Entertainment now has three strong business platforms in the U.S. market under its “Story” division, fortifying its multi-label strategy: Radish, Tapas and Wuxiaworld. This move is part of the company’s overall strategy to expand its Story business globally. Having launched across Asia and into Europe this year, the company aims to deepen its inroads into the North America and ASEAN markets in 2022 with the goal to triple its transactions from overseas markets in the next three years.