Japan-based Rakuten is acquiring Viber, a pioneering messaging and VoIP company, for a total consideration of $900 million.
In the official press release, Rakuten says that Viber’s rapidly growing global user base of 300 million registered users perfectly complements Rakuten’s strategy in the digital space. As Rakuten aims to become the world’s No.1 Internet services company, this acquisition will enable it to penetrate new markets with multiple digital content offerings, in combination with its e-commerce and financial services platforms.
At the moment, Rakuten is running some 40 services including Kobo, LinkShare, Wuaki.tv and Viki. In its home market, it’s a dominant player but its ambitions are global.
Commenting on the news, Viber CEO and Founder, Talmon Marco, had this to say: “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.”