Canada-based storytelling platform Wattpad has conducted its second round of layoffs in less than a year, cutting around 30 jobs or 15% of its workforce. The latest restructuring comes as Wattpad’s parent company, South Korea’s Naver, aims to boost finances ahead of a potential U.S. IPO in 2025.
Wattpad’s first layoffs affecting 15% of staff occurred in March 2023. The recent cuts bring total jobs lost to over 70, nearly a third of positions prior to downsizing.
According to sources, the job cuts are part of a cost-reduction strategy led by Naver’s L.A.-based Webtoon Entertainment, which oversees Wattpad and two other storytelling subsidiaries. Naver acquired Wattpad in 2021 for $600 million but is now restructuring the publisher to improve profitability.
Naver plans to publicly list Webtoon Entertainment in the U.S. within two years. The parent company is cutting costs and streamlining operations at Wattpad and sister brands in preparation for future growth plans and strategic initiatives like the IPO.
Departing Wattpad employees will receive severance packages including 12 weeks of pay and six months of benefits. Wattpad stated the layoffs do not reflect individual performance but are necessary responses to broader economic challenges.
Wattpad has been a influential force in online storytelling since its founding in 2006, empowering creators and engaging readers globally. The platform recently moved to diversify revenue streams beyond ad sales, launching a freemium model with exclusive paywalled content.
The layoffs at Wattpad coincide with workforce reductions across the technology sector amid high inflation and rising interest rates. Companies like Google, Amazon, Meta, Salesforce and others have cut thousands of jobs in 2023-2024 to reduce costs.
Naver stated that despite shrinking its workforce, Wattpad remains fully committed to its community of storytellers and readers. The company aims to adapt to changing market needs while continuing to connect writers and audiences.