Online shop Rakuten purchases Viber for $900 million

Online shop Rakuten purchases Viber for $900 million
February 15 11:46 2014 Print This Article

Rakuten acquires Viber for $900 million

Rakuten, the Japanese rival of Amazon, has announced its purchase of internet voice-calling app Viber for $900 million. This would be the first time Rakuten ventures into mobile communications.

Viber is the first messaging app to provide 3G VoIP on iOS, and now allows users to call any landline or mobile phone, send messages, and even push-to-talk free of charge. The app is available on all major platforms, both mobile and desktop, and is even giving Skype a run for its money with over 300 million users globally.

A report from Wall Street Journal states that Rakuten was drawn into Viber’s global userbase, which will come in handy as the online store attempts to expand its business interests outside Japan. Rakuten has also purchased a significant share in Pinterest and bought e-book company Kobo.

In a statement, Rakuten’s CEO Hiroshi Mikitani says: “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.”

Source: Engadget

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