The Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten has acquired the free call and text messages mobile application Viber for $900 million.
Viber, which is based in Cyprus, has 300 million registered users. Now, Viber users could use the instant messaging service to communicate to an online store before buying the product. Hence the Rakuten will be bringing more active users to the messaging service, but no words revealed regarding the continuation of the current services, including the popular Viber Stickers.
Before starting the company, the CEO and Founder of Viber was the CIO of Israel’s Defence Forces and Viber’s R&D centre is still in Israel, while the headquarters based in Cyprus. Although the Middle-East is the major market for Viber, United States, Australia and Russia are also in the list of its largest markets. Viber app is giving the tough competition to other messaging applications such as Line, WeChat and WhatsApp.
Rakuten has acquired many companies in recent years and some of the key acquisitions include the buying of UK-based games and DVD retailer play.com, Canadian e-book reader kobo in 2011, Europe-based online video provider Wuaki.tv in 2012 and Singapore-based online TV and movies streaming service Viki in 2013. The Japanese company also invested $100 million in the online scrapbook social network Pinterest in May 2012.
Rakuten is growing rapidly and it has posted a double full-year net profit of $427 million in 2013. With the timely decisions and proper planning by moving towards the trending market, Rakuten is marching towards the place of the largest internet business. Even the Social and messaging apps are considered as the hottest properties right now. We would like to remind you that the disappearing mobile messenger Snapchat has turned down the $3 billion offer from Facebook, late last year.