Globe Telecoms and Kickstart Ventures have participated in Wattpad’s $51-million new funding, joining Tencent Holdings Limited, a leading provider of Internet value added services in China, BDC, Peterson Group, and existing investor Raine.
The new funding will support continued investment in machine learning and interactive storytelling, expanding the company’s global entertainment footprint in TV, film, digital media, and publishing as it adapts Wattpad stories for new formats, and other innovations.
The company also plans to grow its team across all departments.
The global Wattpad community grew by more than 40 percent in 2017, and is now made up of more than 65 million people around the world. Story uploads climbed to more than 400 million.
The company’s investments in machine learning have enhanced its personalization and recommendation systems for readers, increasing reading times for more engagement; similar story analysis tools are helping Wattpad writers build audiences and monetize their work.
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Wattpad’s work in machine learning, deep learning and recurrent neural networks have also enhanced its ability to discover stories for adaptation and content trends that are now used across the entertainment industry.
Wattpad has major TV, film and digital video partnerships with Universal Cable Productions (UCP), a division of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, eOne, CW Seed and others.
The company works with publishing houses such as HarperCollins, Hachette Audio and Hachette Romans. Hundreds of Wattpad stories have been published as traditional books–many as best-sellers–and dozens have been adapted or licensed for TV, film and digital video, appearing on screens around the world.
Wattpad has raised USD $117.8 million from international investors in Asia, the US, and Canada. Previous investors include OMERS Ventures, August Capital, Union Square Ventures, Golden Venture Partners, Khosla Ventures, AME Cloud Ventures, Northleaf Venture Catalyst Fund and Version One Ventures.
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“Entertainment is in a period of disruption, and how people find and experience stories is evolving. With our global community of users, hundreds of millions of stories and data-driven approach to helping people and partners find great content, Wattpad is leading both sides of this equation,” said Allen Lau, CEO and co-founder, Wattpad. – BusinessNewsAsia.com