Rakuten announces the acquisition of Viber for $900 million

One of our most used messaging apps today is the Viber which is not only used to text our loved and dear ones across the countries but also used to place free calls over Internet (either data connection or the over the WiFi). I also like Viber myself as it allows me to call my family back in India, and talk for free just by using my phone’s data connection.

Since its birth in 2010, Viber has gained rapid popularity amongst the users and this is why it is operating in like 193 countries while having around 300 million users. The service was founded by Israeli entrepreneur Talmon Marco.

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Rakuten which is one of the world’s largest Internet service companies based out of Japan, announced its acquisition of pioneering messaging and VoIP company, a few days back, for a total consideration of $900 million.

Rakuten Chairman and CEO, Hiroshi Mikitani, said:

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.

Simply put, this acquisition will help Rakuten to penetrate new markets with multiple digital content offerings, in combination with its e-commerce and financial services platforms. However, nothing is being said about the current Viber service operation and therefore we should not see any change in the Viber service even after the acquisition. [via]

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