Moreover, The Beat has discovered that Tapas’ US workplace suffered a sequence of layoffs final month, with cuts to a number of departments there and at Radish, one other division of Kakao’s US content material arm. VP of content material Michael Son and several other different editorial workers stay with the corporate.
All of those strikes are seen as a part of the consolidation of Kakao’s content material manufacturing business, in addition to a response to financial market volatility. Kakao informed Tech Crunch the plan was to restructure across the North American unit, with layoffs within the Korean unit.
“Tapas Leisure is streamlining its operations to reply flexibly [and quickly] within the North American market in response to the worldwide financial downturn,” a Kakao Leisure spokesperson informed TechCrunch. “Tapas Korea has served the operation and advertising and marketing of Tapas Leisure, which is headquartered in america”
The corporate didn’t present the whole variety of Tapas Leisure workers and the variety of Tapas Korea workers who will probably be laid off. Based on native media, Tapas Korea has about 20 workers.
All of those strikes come after an astonishing rollercoaster of acquisition and contraction that has unfolded over the previous two years towards the backdrop of a rumored Kakao IPO.
Tapas Leisure was based in 2003 by an entrepreneur Chang Kim, who introduced his departure from the corporate in January. Initially launched as an internet comedian ebook publishing platform, in 2012 Tapas underwent a serious rebrand, altering its title and increasing its scope to incorporate a cellular app. With the rise of Webtoon – owned by rival Korean tech big Naver – and the rising recognition of cellular comics on the whole, Kakao, itself an Asian tech big, acquired Tapas and Radis, a UGC platform (user-generated content material) for prose, for a combined amount reported at over $900 million as of May 2021. A interval of speedy enlargement and hiring adopted, as Tapas and Webtoon appeared decided to develop their unique editorial content material, with the previous DC govt Michelle good supervisor at Tapas and plenty of hires who adopted.
Nonetheless, simply as shortly, the brand new staff was fired or left in July 2022, with a transfer away from originals and extra to UGC introduced below the editor Gabrielle Luu.
Based on Tech Crunch, Kakao Leisure will take over the capabilities beforehand carried out by Tapas Korea. Based on knowledgeable observers contacted by the Beat, the Korean workplace was primarily a manufacturing workplace, and since Tapas was initially an American firm, this doesn’t symbolize a serious lower in content material.
In the identical manner, it is like how Amazon is absorbing Comixology into its present Kindle operations. All of this may be seen as a part of the overall contraction of the as soon as limitless technological world.
Naver/LINE Webtoon has undergone related expansions and contractions: Naver simply laid off about 15% of the workforce at Wattpad, Korea. Yonhap News reports.
In a publish on the corporate’s bulletin board on March 8, Nam Kyung-bo, interim CEO of Wattpad, mentioned the corporate had laid off 42 workers out of a staff of 267 individuals to realign its enterprise in keeping with the environmental evolution.
Including to all of the turmoil, like many tech corporations, Tapas Leisure has carried out its banking at SVB, the bank of choice recently failing for start-ups and expertise corporations. A Kakao spokesperson, nonetheless, mentioned the cuts have been unrelated to this:
The corporate is at present making ready measures to take care of the fallout from the SVB collapse, together with diversifying property into completely different banks and accounts. Because of the swift actions of the US authorities and regulators, who will assure all deposits, the spokesperson mentioned there needs to be no impact on the corporate.
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