Rakuten Acquires Viber Mobile Messenger for $900M

Internet services company Rakuten will acquire Viber, a messaging and VoIP company, for a total consideration of $900 million, representing a bold step for the retailer into the digital content space. With a global user base of 300 million, the acquisition solidifies Rakuten's footprint in the digital content space along with its acquisitions of Kobo, Wuaki.tv and Viki.
With more than 40 different services, Rakuten has built a robust and dynamic Internet services ecosystem on a unified ID membership database that features Rakuten Super Points rewards program. Viber's messaging and VoIP services complement Rakuten's digital content offerings and its "Shopping is Entertainment" philosophy, laying the foundation for a daily online platform.
"I am tremendously excited to welcome Viber to the Rakuten family," said Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani. "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."
Viber's multi-platform application adoption has been impressive, demonstrating significant growth reaching 300 million registered users, growing more than 120% in 2013.
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