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The IPO Buzz: South Korean-Backed WEBTOON Unveils Terms for $292.5 Million IPO Next Week

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WEBTOON Entertainment Inc. (WBTN Proposed), a global storytelling platform for creators and fans of comics and other creative content with its roots in South Korea, unveiled the terms for its $292.5 million IPO early today – Monday, June 17, 2024. The WEBTOON IPO is expected to price next week. (Please see the IPO Calendar on ) The company has a history of net losses, the prospectus says. WEBTOON, based in Los Angeles, is offering 15.0 million shares at a price range of $18.00 to $21.00 to raise $292.5 million, assuming pricing at the $19.50 mid-point of its range. Under those terms, WEBTOON would have a market cap of about $2.48 billion ($2,477.87 million), according to the prospectus. This is a NASDAQ listing. Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan are leading the joint book-runners team, which includes Evercore ISI, Deutsche Bank Securities, UBS Investment Bank and HSBC. Search Engineer By Day, Comics Lover 24/7 “Our founder, Junkoo Kim, started WEBTOON in 2005 while he was working as a search engineer at NAVER, the largest Internet company in Korea,” the prospectus says. “Junkoo was a lifelong lover of comics and their rich and vibrant worlds and diverse characters. He wanted to create a platform that empowered creators to share stories and for fans, like himself, to discover this unique content. Instead of a traditional storytelling format, confined to a page or screen, he pioneered something different. Through serialized releases of bite-sized episodes available online, he created a format that was not only easily accessible and highly engaging for fans, but also easier for creators to create and share with a wide audience.” WEBTOON’s audience in North America totaled more than 20 million monthly users as of December 2023 – and 75 percent of those users were Gen Z – people born between 1996 and 2010, according to the prospectus. Here’s the excerpt: “Our roots are in Korea, where half the population visits our platform each month, but our community is truly global. In 2013, we launched in Japan given familiarity with similar content types, and today we have over 20 million monthly users there; our format is quickly gaining popularity with North American users where we have more than 20 million monthly users and 75% of users are Gen Z as of December 2023; and our platform has become truly global with over half of all monthly users outside of these three markets.” WEBTOON is not profitable, according to financial statements in the prospectus. The LA-based company reported a net loss of $144.76 million on revenue of about $1.28 billion ($1,282.75 million) for the 12 months that ended Dec. 31, 2023. (For more information about these companies, please check the IPO Calendar and the individual IPO Profiles found on our website: ) Note: Never trade on proposed symbols. They have been known to change and you might buy something on the OTC Bulletin Board. To see what time the NASDAQ IPOs are expected to trade, please log in to: then scroll down to IPO Message. Disclosure: Nobody on the staff has a position in any stocks mentioned above, nor do they trade or invest in IPOs. The staff does not issue advice, recommendations or opinions. Disclaimer: A SCOOP Rating (Wall Street Consensus of Opening-day Premiums) is a general consensus taken, at press time, from Wall Street and investment professionals concerning how well an IPO might perform when it starts trading. The SCOOP Rating does not reflect the opinions of anyone associated with The SCOOP ratings should not be taken as investment advice. The rating merely reflects the opinion of the professionals at the time of publication and is subject to last-minute changes due to market conditions, changes in a specific offering and other factors, such as changes in the proposed offering terms and the shifting of investor interest in the IPO. The information offered is taken from sources we believe to be reliable, but we cannot guarantee the accuracy.


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