Rakuten bags Viber for $900 million
Confirming just three days old rumours of Viber on a sellout path, Play.com owner Rakuten has picked up the VoIP capable instant messaging app in a $900 million cash deal.
In a press release Rakuten said, “The Company will acquire Viber for a total consideration of $900 million and will hold 100% of Viber’s outstanding voting stock and underwrite a new issue of shares.”
Rakuten’s move of Viber acquisition is a step towards its ambitions of strengthening its global platform. Play.com owner intends to leverage Viber’s customer base of 280 million registered users and 100 million monthly active users to market its E-commerce and digital contents services.
Hiroshi Mikitani, Rakuten CEO and chairman, believes that Viber acquisition will take the company to new levels. The company intends to integrate the messaging apps features into its existing services such that users can instantly message online stores.
Rakuten is highly popular in its home country of Japan and with global expansion intentions the company has been busy acquiring overseas company. Rakuten bagged Kobo – an ereading service and Wuaki.tv – a video-on-demand service in 2012. The company also picked up Viki – a digital content platform last year.