South Korean technology company Kakao has acquired Voithru, a translation and localization company, to strengthen its intellectual property (IP) value chain in the Japanese comic book publishing market.
Kakao subsidiary Kakao Piccoma Corp. acquired a 70% stake in Voithru last year for about $16.2 million.
Voithru was founded in 2018 and operates the MINGLO translation platform, which connects customers and translators worldwide.
The acquisition aims to leverage potential synergies as Kakao looks to expand its cartoon and webtoon content business into Japan, France, and other key markets.
Piccoma, webtoons, and web novels platform operated by Kakao has spread by providing Japanese digital comics, web novels, and Korean webtoons.
According to market data, Piccoma ranked first in global comic app sales in July 2022 and has maintained that position.
The monthly active users exceeded 10 million at the end of September 2022.
Voithru has also made inroads in webtoons, web novels and dramas, and the YouTube video market.
The company’s cumulative translation content has exceeded 300,000, and the number of affiliates is over 150.
The acquisition of Voithru will allow Kakao to leverage its translation and localization expertise to expand its IP value chain in the lucrative Japanese cartoon market.