Wattpad Strikes Content Development Deal With Brazil's Wise Entertainment

Allen Lau - 2015 WIRED Business Conference - Getty - H 2018
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Wattpad CEO Allen Lau.

The Latin American expansion for the Canadian storytelling startup, led by CEO Allen Lau, follows partnerships in Europe and Asia.

Canadian storytelling app Wattpad is headed to Brazil, South America's biggest media market, after signing a development and production deal with indie studio Wise Entertainment.

The agreement hands Wise Entertainment, which has offices in Los Angeles and New York City, the exclusive first-look rights to develop Wattpad stories into Portuguese-language film and TV projects for global distribution.

Wattpad will use its data-driven machine-learning technology to identify and co-produce YA and teen projects for Wise from its user base of around 3.7 million Brazilians. Wise in turn will use local producers and creatives to develop films and TV series for Brazil and elsewhere. The deal marks a milestone in a growing Latin American market secured through film and TV production in Hollywood.

Wise is best known for East Los High, a Hulu series set in East Los Angeles that portrayed the lives of inner-city Latino high school students and had an all-Latino cast, creators and writers. "Wattpad created an ecosystem that is both a storytelling community and a cultural compass for IPs and new voices," Mauricio Mota, co-president of Wise, said in a statement.

Wattpad, founded in 2006, has a platform that allows amateurs to publish their own works of fiction. In recent years, it has looked to grow its footprint in film and TV by striking deals with Sony Pictures Television, Universal Cable Productions, Entertainment One and others to adapt the platform's IP into entertainment properties.

Wattpad also has collaborated with Mediaset, Lagardere Studioss and Huayi Brothers Korea to identify and develop TV shows from fiction story uploads shared on the online publishing platform.

Wattpad investors include Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings, India's Times Bridge, BDC, Globe Telecom's Kickstart Ventures, Peterson Group and Raine.