Japanese Ecommerce firm Rakutan has Acquired Israeli based voice and messaging firm Viber for $900 million.
According to Rakutan’s Chief Executive Officer Hiroshi Mikitani the acquisition will help integrate the company’s Ecommerce solutions and platform along with the social calling and messaging aspect of Viber, similar to Chinese firm Tencent with its WeChat messaging app.
Rakutan has been acquiring firms all over the globe for the “next level” of its offerings. Recently the Japanese firm acquired Ecommerce providers from Brazil to Germany, as well as Toronto-based eReader business Kobo and Spanish online video providers Wuaki.tv.
“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 Rakutenas we seek to bring our deep understanding of the consumer to vast new audiences through our dynamic ecosystem of Internet Services,” said Rakuten Chairman and CEO, Hiroshi Mikitani, in a statement.
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Viber has beefed up its consumer offering this past year and begun to offer a desktop messaging application, bringing it head to head with Microsoft’s Skype. With 120% growth in the past year, it is understandable to see why Rakutan became interested in the service.
Growing popularity of messaging application integrated with payment features has been taking off recently in China. Both WeChat and prime competitor Alibaba offer a plethora of Ecommerce solutions directly within their respective messaging applications. With Rakutan’s recent global purchases, we might see a more global implementation of these kinds of services.