Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten to acquire Viber for around $900 million
Friday February 14, 2014, 1:13 PM
Popular mobile messaging service Viber is set to be acquired by Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten, the Wall Street Journal reports. The latter’s CEO revealed that the deal is worth $900 million and will be the company’s first foray into the rapidly growing social messaging platform.
Rakuten is Japan’s biggest e-commerce platform with revenues in the region of 400 billion Yen. But the company has been looking at expanding its presence in global markets to compete against giants like Amazon and eBay. By acquiring Viber, Rakuten will get exclusive access to the messaging service’s in-app store as well as nearly 300 million users spread across 193 countries.
In a statement Rakuten’s Chairman and CEO, Hiroshi Mikitani wrote:
I am tremendously excited to welcome Viber to the Rakuten family. Viber delivers the most consistently high quality and convenient messaging and VoIP experience available. Additionally, Viber has introduced a great sticker market and has tremendous potential as a gaming platform. Simply put, Viber understands how people actually want to engage and have built the only service that truly delivers on all fronts. This makes Viber the ideal total consumer engagement platform for Rakuten as we seek to bring our deep understanding of the consumer to vast new audiences through our dynamic ecosystem of Internet Services.
The quest for making a global brand has seen Rakuten acquire Canadian e-book firm Kobo,video site Viki, invest in Pinterest and also investing in a Baseball team in the US.
Photo Credit: Paranjay Dutt