Tapas Media
Webcomics publisher Tapas Media was acquired by Kakao Entertainment in a $510 million cash transaction. Tapas Media


  • Unit Kakao Entertainment bought Tapas Media in an all-cash deal
  • Los Angeles-based Tapas has published more than 96,000 original comic series and prose novels
  • Tapas recently secured a deal with print company Scholastic
  • Kakao is reportedly eyeing a U.S. IPO

Tapas Media, a webcomics publisher based in the United States, has been snapped up by a South Korean media giant in a deal worth $510 million as the latter tries to make inroads into the booming U.S. market.

Kakao, an internet titan, acquired Tapas Media in an all-cash transaction through its subsidiary, Kakao Entertainment. Bloomberg reported last month that Kakao is eyeing an initial public in New York, encouraged by Coupang's $4.6 billion U.S. IPO in March.

"We're so thrilled to join forces with Kakao Entertainment. To me, it just makes perfect sense," Tapas Media founder and CEO Chang Kim said while announcing the acquisition.

"Kakao Entertainment is relatively unknown outside of Asia, but they're an entertainment content juggernaut with a massive library of original IP, which can be introduced to the U.S. audience through the Tapas platform," Kim added.

Los Angeles-based Tapas will continue with its current strategy of publishing webcomics and prose writing. The deal means it will now also be developing Kakao’s content.

Tapas collaborates with creators to produce original content. The company also promotes its content for development deals in film, book, gaming and other business industries.

It has grown into a publishing titan in the U.S. in the past decade. In 2020, the company saw a 500% increase in year-over-year revenues, which brought $2 million per month for its comic creators. The site has published more than 96,000 original comic series and prose novels, which gained a combined 8 billion views, Rob Salkowitz wrote in Forbes.

Tapas recently announced a partnership with Zoic Studios to produce television and cross-platform adaptation for “Mnemosyne,” an AI-thriller. Frolic Media and Madison Wells are also developing a TV adaptation of Tapas' original romance series “Yes, My Boss!”

The company, which originally launched as Comics Panda in 2012, also has partnerships with Boom! Studios, the Hachette Book Group and Scholastic, for which it reached a deal for a graphic novel for the original series Magical Boy. The print version of the novel is slated for release in November.

News of the merger comes nearly two months after Michele Wells, former co-editor-in-chief of DC Comics, joined Tapas Media as Chief Content Officer. She had previously worked as the executive editor at Disney Publishing Worldwide before moving to DC.