Wattpad, a storytelling app for writers and readers, has over 90 million monthly active users worldwide. To add a cherry on top, South Korea’s Naver is in the process of acquiring them for $600M. Their success didn’t happen overnight. Their accomplishments stemmed from a team vision of globalization, diversity, and multiculturalism. And of course, they have a team of hard-working and intelligent people.
In 2006, immigrants Allen Lau and Ivan Yuen founded Wattpad in Toronto, Canada. Over fourteen years later, the company has more than 200 employees worldwide – 50% are female, and 40% include people of color. Wattpad’s culture has multiculturalism embedded into its DNA.
We spoke with co-founder Allen Lau about what contributed to Wattpad’s overall success. Lucky for you, Allen will join us for a fireside chat to share:
- How to have a global mindset when founding a startup
- How they structured their team early on to reflect the market they wanted to capture
- The journey of building an app with almost 100 million users
- Things to consider when meeting with a startup mentor
- Plus anything you’d like to ask
Allen Lau is the CEO and co-founder of Wattpad, the global multiplatform entertainment company, where he leads the company’s vision to entertain and connect the world through stories.
A leader in Canada’s technology sector and startup ecosystem, Allen is a member of the Canadian Council of Innovators, a lobby group that advances the interests of Canadian technology companies at all levels of government. He is also the co-founder of Two Small Fish Ventures, a fund that invests in Toronto and Waterloo-based early stage internet companies with strong network effects.
Prior to Wattpad, Allen co-founded FeedM8, a mobile advertising company that was later acquired. He also previously co-founded Tira Wireless, where he helped leading brands optimize content for mobile delivery.
Allen received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Toronto’s Electrical Engineering program.
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