According to venture capital industry sources, Tooneed Entertainment Co. (http://www.tooneed.com) attracted a 1 billion won (US$900 million) investment from ID Ventures.
An official from the industry said, “ID Ventures paid attention to the growth rate of the domestic webtoon industry. As a webtoon agency, Tooneed currently supplies works to Ktoon, the nation’s third largest webtoon platform, so, it will be able to stably grow.”
Meanwhile, Tooneed supplies webtoons to Ktoon run by KT and handles and protects its intellectual property (IP) at the same time.
Tooneed is also standing out in the global market. The company is now aggressively carrying out webtoon book publishing and IP publication rights businesses in North America and Southeast Asia as well as China and Japan. It also believes that it has already gained ground in the Chinese and Japanese markets. Its major works – “The Girl Who Sees Smells” and “Trivial for Telling” – are becoming popular. Webtoons are considered exportable contents since they can increase the immersion level of readers, though they are translated into local languages.
Tooneed also focuses on finding new writers. A considerable number of webtoon agencies heavily depends on only popular writers’ contents in order to produce short-term revenue gains. On the other hand, Tooneed is fostering new writers as well.
Tooneed CEO Park Cheol-kwon is one of the first generation webtoon writers. As Park worked as a full-time writer since the mid-1990s, he has a strong attachment to domestic webtoons. He is confident that fostering new writers will help grow not only the domestic webtoon industry but also the comapny in the long term.
The official from the industry said, “Tooneed plans to expand its business areas to films and dramas overseas. The company already conducted license agreement business with major broadcasting stations and movie studios in South Korea.”