Wattpad partners Times Bridge to grow its India presence

MUMBAI: Wattpad, a global multi-platform entertainment company for original stories, and Times Bridge, the global investments and partnerships arm of The Times Group, today announced a new partnership and strategic investment to grow Wattpad’s presence in India and reach new users.

The partnership will give Wattpad a strategic advantage in expanding its Indian operations. Working with Times Bridge, Wattpad will grow its local community of readers and writers, establish new strategic partnerships, and create opportunities for Wattpad Studios to work with local partners to turn Wattpad stories into books, TV shows, films, and digital projects.

Wattpad CEO, co-founder Allen Lau said, “We’re thrilled to work with Times Bridge expand our footprint in the region and create more opportunities for India’s rich literary community to tell their stories, reaching new audiences in India and around the world.”

Times Bridge CEO Rishi Jaitly said, “Times Bridge’s mission is to bring the world’s best ideas to India and share India’s best insights with the world. Wattpad is a bold, proven idea that has changed how audiences around the world create and experience stories. Our investment will advance Wattpad’s mission, and original storytelling, across the Indian subcontinent, unlocking the creativity of many millions along the way. We are delighted to be working with a partner who sees growing creativity, diversity and value across the Indian market.”

The deal follows Wattpad’s recent announcement that Devashish Sharma has joined the company Wattpad’s first Country Manager for India.

Wattpad country manager for India Devashish Sharma said, “Millions of Indian readers and writers have already found a home Wattpad. Times Bridge and The Times Group have an unmatched media and entertainment portfolio, and connections with some of India’s most-respected authors and cultural figures. We’re excited to work together to create new opportunities for Indian storytellers.”

With a global community of more than 70 million people, Wattpad aims to empower diverse storytellers from all over the world, helping local storytellers connect with readers everywhere. The company’s Story DNA machine learning technology allows it to discover stand-out stories among the 565 million on the platform, which are then transformed into books, TV shows, films, and digital projects. Some of Wattpad’s international entertainment partners include iflix, Huayi Brothers Korea, Bavaria Fiction, Sony, SYFY, and many others. Wattpad recently launched Wattpad Books, a new publishing division that will bring Wattpad stories to bookshelves everywhere.

Times Bridge’s previous investments include Uber, Airbnb, Coursera, Houzz, MUBI and Smule among others.