Wattpad, an app used by 25 million people to create 150,000 stories per day, is now worth $US67 million reports Re/code.
The app only had 8 million users two years ago, but there were two motivating factors for the recent infusion of capital: the growth and the loyalty of the writers and readers.
You can find all kinds of stories on Wattpad: romance, science fiction, fantasy and even stories about the band One Direction. Writers can upload their stories chapter by chapter. Members of the Wattpad community can leave comments on each chapter to provide suggestions on where the story could go.
Wattpad CEO Allen Lau told Re/code that 85% of the usage comes from mobile devices. Most of that time was spent reading, but Lau said that a surprising number of writers were using mobile devices to create their stories, as well.
Investors have referred to the app as the “YouTube of Writing.” In an interview with GigaOm’s Matthew Ingram, one of Wattpad’s primary investors Andrew Chung explained how this could be used as a tool for discovering new writers:
You’re able to upload a story chapter by chapter, folks are able to comment on that chapter, and they can provide encouragement to the writer and actually signal where they’d like want the story to go, which creates a type of engagement that’s impossible in an offline context. There’s a very strong parallel to the way that YouTube was able to do that for amateur or user-generated video content.
This could become a powerful tool for finding the next popular author, but Lau explained to Re/code that the focus would be on building user growth for now. Paid products and native advertising could be coming down the line