Kakao Entertainment, a subsidiary of tech giant Kakao Corp, announced that they had successfully raised an impressive $966 million (KRW1.2 trillion)in investment. This injection of funds came by way of globally renowned sovereign wealth funds such as Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and Singapore’s GIC. Kakao Entertainment, which spans K-pop, webtoons , and online story-telling, is following the lead of other Korean media companies like Hybe(BTS) and building out their infrastructure for international distribution.
The move follows the 2021 listing of Hybe Corp., and cash infusions from Naver, consisting of multiple acquisitions and ventures to help build out their international distribution which includes platforms such as VR, Gaming, television, education, and webtoons, to name a few.
Kakao Entertainment was created in2021 when the Korean tech giant Kakao Corp. merged their webtoon publisher, Kakao Page, and a conglomerate of music and television production companies named Kakao M.
Among these companies, are Baram Pictures and BH Entertainment, one of Korea’s largest talent management firms, as well as Starship Entertainment, and the film producer Zip Cinema. Kakao Entertainment also runs Melon, Korea’s leading music streamer.
With the latest funding, Kakao Entertainment says it will push ahead with its international expansion and make more investments and acquisitions. In a statement announcing the new investment, Kakao Entertainment said that it intends to use the proceeds to build its storytelling capacity and intellectual property, particularly in North America.
“This is a testament to the global competitiveness and future growth of potential of Kakao Entertainment’s unique intellectual property (IP) value chain, which spans multiple categories in the entertainment industry,” said Kakao’s chief investment officer Bae Jae-hyun.
Kakao’s music division operates the streaming platform Melon through a merger that took place in September of 2021. Melon holds a dominant market share in music distribution rights in the country, with 40 million+ songs and over 5 million paid subscribers on its platform.
Additionally, In their announcement the company mentioned the ‘newly secured funds will further help Kakao Entertainment navigate the ultra-competitive entertainment market with greater stability and flexibility, as it looks to solidify its position on the global stage’.