Rakuten Acquires Viber for $900 million
Rakuten(a Japanese electronic commerce and Internet company based in Tokyo) has just got into the mobile communications business by purchasing the internet calling application, Viber for $900 million.
Viber is one of the most used application for smartphones, with 300 million users worldwide Viber seems the only competition for Skype. Rakuten has plans to get its approach outside Japan and share its business ideas worldwide. However, Viber is not the first company for Rakuten when it is about acquisition. Rakuten in 2012 acquired Kobo (eReading service), that now offers 4 million eBooks, magazines and newspapers in 190 countries. In 2012, Rakuten acquired Wuaki.tv,(video-on-demand and streaming service) and even more.
Rakuten Chairman and CEO, Hiroshi Mikitani, commented:
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.”
Viber CEO and Founder, Talmon Marco, underlined these synergies:
Rakuten is one of the world’s most important Internet companies. It is truly dominant in its home market of Japan and has been rapidly expanding globally. This combination presents an amazing opportunity for Viber to enhance our rapid user growth in both existing and new markets. Sharing similar aspirations with Rakuten, our vision is to be the world’s No.1 communications platform and our combination with Rakuten is an important step in that direction.”