Exit announcements, media coverage, team updates, and more
July 27, 2022
In 2021, Wattpad, an Upside Member company and leading social storytelling platform was acquired by Naver, South Korea’s internet conglomerate, resulting in Upside’s 10th liquidity event. The acquisition, a cash and stock transaction valued at over $600M USD, aligned Wattpad with Naver’s WEBTOON, the world’s largest digital comics platform. Together, these two leading comics, entertainment, and storytelling companies, reach a combined global monthly audience of more than 176 million people. The acquisition and subsequent liquidation of that equity allowed Wattpad to kick-start its charitable giving initiatives.
Today, the company is formalizing it’s Corporate Giving Program as they aim to support organizations that align with two areas of focus:
Diversity in Entertainment
Wattpad will donate to organizations and causes that amplify historically underrepresented voices in entertainment (film/tv, publishing, gaming/apps).
Stories for Everyone
Wattpad will donate to organizations and causes that foster a love of reading/writing, (especially - but not exclusively - with young people), and/or provide access to books/materials/writing tools and support.
“Wattpad recognizes that storytelling has the power to transform lives. Reading and writing creates connection, expands perspectives, and allows people to experience the world. We believe it’s important to foster this love of reading not only through our own platform but also by giving back to charitable organizations who value literacy as much as we do.” - Jeanne Lam, Wattpad President
Impact so Far
Since the liquidity event and resulting upside, Wattpad has made donations to a number of charities, including:
The Upside Foundation provides a solution for early-stage high-growth companies who want to be philanthropic but don’t necessarily have the time or money to give back. In Canada, over 360 companies have already taken the Upside pledge. In 2016, Wattpad donated equity as part of a campaign to celebrate Canada 150, demonstrating continued commitment to positive social impact. The acquisition and subsequent liquidation of that donated equity allowed Wattpad to kick-start its charitable giving initiatives and formalize its Corporate Giving Program.
“Our mission is to enable Canadian startups to align their business success with a greater social impact. Wattpad has always been an integral part of the Upside community, and have consistently looked to support philanthropic initiatives they are passionate about. We’re so grateful for their donation to support our work, and we’re excited to support further granting from their corporate giving program"
– Maria O’Reilly, General Manager, The Upside Foundation of Canada
Congratulations to the entire team at Wattpad on this milestone, and your unwavering commitment to socially impactful business!
We are so grateful for the key role Wattpad has played as a member since they pledged in 2017. Learn more about their history with Upside below: