Wattpad, the online story writing website, is in talks with multiple parties to sell the enterprise, with a $500m price tag being mooted, Canada 24 News has reported.
According to an undisclosed source, the Toronto-based company received an offer from a US internet company in the autumn, and is now in talks with multiple bidders. The source revealed a deal could be struck this month, although no deal is also on the cards.
A company spokesman said “We don’t have any news to share,” in response to the publication's inquiry.
Wattpad is free to use, and deploys artificial intelligence to identify stories that could be adapted into other formats, including films secured by its film studio arm. In 2019 the company launched a press, Wattpad Books.
In recent years it has moved to enable writers to generate income from stories posted on their site through external adverts, and has encouraged paying customers through its “paid stories” programme, where users are charged for access to certain stories.
Headed by founder and c.e.o Allen Lau, the company has raised over $115m from venture capital firms in Canada and the US including Golden Ventures, Version One Ventures, OMERS Ventures, Framework Venture Partners, Union Square Ventures and Khosla Ventures as well as global investors including Times Bridge and Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings, according to Canada 24 News.