toggle

AAPL Stock: 132.12 ( + 2.5 )

Printed from http://www.macnn.com

Rakuten acquires voice, messaging service Viber for $900M

updated 07:58 am EST, Fri February 14, 2014

Skype competitor purchased by Japanese e-commerce giant

Japanese retailer Rakuten has acquired Cyprus-based VoIP and messaging service Viber. The purchase, worth a total of $900 million, will see the Japanese Internet giant take control of Skype's biggest competitor, with the company claiming the purchase of Viber "perfectly complements Rakuten's strategy in the digital space" in its bid to become the "world's No.1 Internet services company."

Viber currently operates in close to 100 countries and boasts almost 300 million users since its launch in 2011. Though it has a vocal focus when compared to Line and other similar mobile and desktop messaging systems, the acquisition not only expands Rakuten's interests, but also increases the user base from its existing 225 million registered members, and expands the company's interests further abroad from its home country.



Speaking about the purchase to Recode, co-founder and CEO of Rakuten Hiroshi Mikitani claimed "This is a no-brainer. Messaging apps are taking over the world, and while search is one of the strongest platforms, what is happening in communications is very, very important." Mikitani continued by pointing out that, though the company offers various content, gaming, and commerce services, adding a communication product "can make buying more secure, but also more human."

Aside from its central e-commerce operations, Rakuten is also an invester in Pinterest, and owns video service Viki and e-book reader manufacturer Kobo.




by MacNN Staff

POST TOOLS:

TAGS :

toggle

Comments

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.

toggle

Network Headlines

Follow us on Facebook

toggle

Most Popular

Advertisement

Recent Reviews

Notti smart lamp from Witti

Perhaps you've already seen our review of the Dotti LED display from Witti Design. Meet Notti, Dotti's "sibling". Notti is a softb ...

Seagate Personal Cloud (2-Bay)

When it comes to backing up files, many users are now looking to the myriad of cloud storage solutions available. There is no doubt th ...

Leitz Icon Label Printer

When you say the words "label printer" to people, they either just really don't care, or they get incredibly excited. This is one o ...

toggle

Most Commented