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C21May iPad

India’s Times Bridge backs Wattpad

Indian media giant The Times Group has invested in web storytelling platform Wattpad to help grow its presence in India and reach new users.

Rishi Jaitly

The move comes after Times Bridge, the investment arm of The Times Group, backed firms including Uber, Airbnb, Vice and Mubi.

Its latest strategic partnership, financial details of which were not disclosed, will give Wattpad “a strategic advantage in expanding its Indian operations,” the firm said.

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, which claims more than 70 million users worldwide, is a global online community of four million-plus writers who have shared over 500 million stories on the platform.

The company then picks out the stand-out stories which are then turned into books, TV shows, films and digital projects.

The deal with Times Bridge follows Devashish Sharma joining Wattpad as the company’s first country manager for India towards the end of 2018.

Rishi Jaitly, CEO of Times Bridge, 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.”

“Millions of Indian readers and writers have already found a home on 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,” added Sharma.

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