Japanese company Rakuten has bought messaging app Viber for $900 million. Rakuten, which announced the acquisition this morning, is one of the world's leading Internet services companies. Viber offers offers free calls and text messages from a mobile phone. It has 300 million users.
Rakuten, which has also bought Canadian e-reader Kobo, Wuaki.TV and Viki, explained that the acquisition of Viber was aimed at accelerating the company's strategy of entering the VoIP market,said the purchase would allow it to expand its digital content into emerging markets.
"This acquisition is a totally new strategy that will take Rakuten to a different level," said Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani.
Viber, which is registered in Cyprus and Las Vegas, has a small development center in Israel with a few dozen employees and is managed by Talmon Marco and his partners Igor Magazinik, Sani Maroli and Ofer Samocha,
"This combination presents an amazing opportunity for Viber to enhance our rapid user growth in both existing and new markets," Marco said. "Sharing similar aspirations with Rakuten, our vision is to be the world's number one communications platform, and our combination with Rakuten is an important step in that direction."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on February 14, 2014
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