February 14, 2014
Japanese conglomerate Rakuten, owner of online retailer Play.com, has acquired popular over the top messaging and VoIP developer Viber for $900m.
With around 40 services to its name already, Rakuten has bold ambitions and seeks to “become the world’s No.1 Internet services company.” The company also owns the Kobo ereader, and online video services Wuaki.tv and Viki.
Viber counts a global user base of 300 million registered users, which will add to Rakuten Group’s roughly 225 million global members.
Rakuten Chairman and CEO, Hiroshi Mikitani, said: “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.”
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