Japan's Rakuten Buys OTT Operator, Viber for $900 Million
Published on: 14th Feb 2014
By: Ian Mansfield
Japan's Rakuten has announced that it is paying USD900 million to buy the OTT messaging provider Viber.
The acquisition is the latest in a series of purchases after Rakuten bought Kobo, Wuaki.tv, and Viki.
Rakuten said that Viber, with a global user base of 300 million registered users, complements its strategy to become the world's top Internet services company.
With 40 different services, Rakuten has built a platform of digital services, centered around a unified ID membership database that features the online Rakuten Super Points rewards program. The combination also unlocks massive new potential markets for Viber through Rakuten Group's roughly 225 million global members.
Rakuten Chairman and CEO, Hiroshi Mikitani, commented: "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."