Viber Sold Out for $900 Million to Japan Based Rakuten


Rakuten, a Japan based online retailer, has said that it has bought Viber – a phone messaging and call service – for USD 900 million.

Rakuten has plans to integrate Viber with its digital products while a game platform on Viber is also on the cards.

Rakuten is controlled by Japanese billionaire Hiroshi Mikitani, who believes that e-commerce will become a more communication-based transaction in future.

The acquisition is being financed through bank borrowing and is expected to close in March, Rakuten said.

Rakuten is a business to consumer shopping portal that connects Japanese manufacturers to consumers in Japan and abroad. They deal in toys, electronics and clothing. Rakuten had a market-share of 27.7 percent for Japan’s Internet retailing market as of December 2013.

With Viber on board, Rakuten plans to capitalize from free messaging, paid stickers and gaming potential to expand its current base of about 225 million members, said Rakuten.

“There was a sense that we can accelerate the growth of our company by tapping into Rakuten’s user base in various countries,” Viber Chief Executive Officer Talmon Marco said. “We would be able to continue to build Viber, continue to maintain the mentality and speed of a startup while having support.”

  • I totally dislike the idea of selling a well established business. :/
    Anyway, lets hope Viber’s call quality improves, at least at minimum matches to call quality of LINE (also a Japanese product).

  • A great decision to sell. Skype is supported by MSFT and Facebook. Viber had no elbow room to capitalize on current opportunities. This Japanese billionaire bought an overpriced company. A year from now, it will be sold for the correct price. Cant help but recall Google’s Motorola acquisition.

    • Motorola acquisition added a few license / patent arsenals to Google, which was the actual aim of the acquisition.

  • It is good cause japan has powerful server and Internet bandwidth and these days viber is getting slower and voice quality is null.. may be they would do some better commercial

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