VIKI ACQUIRES LEADING KOREAN NEWS AND FANSITE SOOMPI, REINFORCES POSITION AS DESTINATION FOR GLOBAL TV AND ENTERTAINMENT
SAN FRANCISCO – August 19, 2015 — Viki, the global TV site powered by fans, today announced it has acquired Soompi, the world’s largest English-language online site providing complete news and fan discussions around Korean and Asian pop culture, in a deal valued at less than $10 million. With this acquisition, Viki expands its offering of top-tier Korean entertainment and news to its global audience of 40 million monthly users and will provide a greater space for fans to connect with one another. Soompi has doubled its reach in the past two years alone, amassing nearly 7 million users per month, and was most recently a division of Crunchyroll, the leading Anime subscription site.
“Soompi’s recent exponential growth underscores global fans’ changing tastes in popular entertainment, and we’re excited to fuel this growth even more,” said Tammy H. Nam, CEO of Viki. “Joining forces with the Soompi team enables Viki to kick-start our news and fan forum offering, starting first with Korean and with plans to expand into other vertical categories.”
In the near term, the two sites will continue to operate separately while integrating content, such as Viki videos in Soompi news posts and fan forums, and Soompi news into Viki show and celebrity pages. Soompi founder Susan Kang will oversee the Community and Publishing team at Viki, Inc. and will report directly to Nam.
“I started Soompi in 1998 as a passion project because I wanted to create a space for fans of Korean pop culture,” said Kang. “With Viki and Soompi’s shared core value of community, I feel like we’ve finally found our perfect home.”
Viki is a global TV site with TV shows, movies and other premium content, translated into more than 200 languages by a community of avid fans. With 40 million viewers each month and over 900 million words translated, Viki uniquely brings global prime-time entertainment to new audiences and unlocks new markets and revenue opportunities for content owners. Viki was named a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer 2014 and acquired by Japanese internet services company Rakuten in September 2013. Viki has offices in San Francisco, Singapore, Seoul and Tokyo.
Soompi is the world’s largest and longest-running English online media providing complete coverage of Korean pop culture. Founded in 1998, Soompi has become the ultimate authority for all the latest news on Korean celebrities, music, TV shows, movies, and style, as well as a respected organization that works closely with major Korean entertainment agencies to bring you exclusive content. Soompi boasts a dedicated user base from 150 different countries. Site traffic is spread out among our comprehensive forums and news sites in English, Spanish, and French.