Webtoon platform Tapas Media is headed towards a significant restructuring, with the news that parent company Kakao Entertainment plans to close Tapas’ Korean branch next month, with significant layoffs on the way as a result.
In a statement to TechCrunch, which broke the news, Kakao Entertainment said that Tapas was “streamlining perations to respond flexibly [and quickly] in the North American market in response to the global economic downturn. Tapas Korea has been in the service of operation and marketing of Tapas Entertainment that is headquartered in the U.S.” In a separate statement to the Yonhap News Agency, a company spokesman said that Kakao had “decided to liquidate the Koran branch to improve business efficiency and competitiveness.”
Around 20 people are expected to lose their jobs as a result of the closure of Tapas Korea.
Kakao Entertainment will take over the marketing and platform management responsibilities previously handled by Tapas Korea, with a spokesperson telling TechCrunch that the decision was made because Kakoa has “more experience and capabilities” than Tapas Korea. According to Kakao, the changes will have minimum impact to the public, as Tapas has primarily been a North American operation since its inception; it was purchased by the South Korean Kakao in 2021.
This news comes two months after Tapas Media founder Chang Kim stepped down from the company, which he launched in 2012, and just eight months after the majority of the company’s U.S. executive team was laid off as part of what was described at the time as a “pivot” to a new direction for the company. All of this came on the heels of the May 2022 news that Kakao Entertainment was merging Tapas Media with its sister companies Radish Media and Wuxiaworld, which specialize in publishing serialized prose and stories of “martial heroes,” respectively.
Just last month, Tapas announced a new partnership with Dark Horse Comics for print editions of some of its most popular titles, beginning in October 2023.
Expect more on Popverse about this story as it develops.
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