Storytelling Startup Wattpad Raises $51 Million

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Wattpad co-founder and CEO Allen Lau

Tencent led the round into the Canadian company, which also counts Raine as an investor.

Canadian storytelling startup Wattpad has raised $51 million in funding from Tencent Holdings and others.

Wattpad, founded in 2006, has a platform that allows amateurs to publish their own works of fiction. Its community of writers and readers has grown to 65 million.

In recent years, Wattpad has looked to grow its footprint in film and TV, striking a deal with Universal Cable Productions, eOne and others to adapt the platform's IP into entertainment properties. 

Wattpad also operates an app, Tap, that proffers more than 300,000 shortform serialized stories. 

To date, the company has raised more than $117 million. The other investors who participated in its most recent round include BDC, Globe Telecom's Kickstart Ventures, Peterson Group and existing investor Raine.

The money will go toward building up its machine learning technology and interactive storytelling capabilities, in addition to expand its film, television and digital media footprint.

"Entertainment is in a period of disruption, and how people find and experience stories is evolving," said CEO Allen Lau. "We empower diverse storytellers all over the world, helping them build a community of passionate readers; at the same time, we also connect Hollywood with stories that have massive built-in audiences." 

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