Play.com and Kobo owner Rakuten buys messaging firm Viber for £540m

Rakuten, the e-commerce company that owns Play.com and e-reader brand Kobo, has acquired messaging and VoIP company Viber for $900m (£540m).

Rakuten: e-commerce company buys Viber
Rakuten: e-commerce company buys Viber

The acquisition is Rakuten’s latest move into the digital content space following the acquisitions of Kobo, on-demand streaming site Wuaki.tv, and Singapore-based video streaming site Viki.

Viber has a user base of 300 million registered users and the acquisition is designed to enable Japan-based Rakuten to "penetrate new markets with multiple digital content offerings", in conjunction with its e-commerce and financial services platforms.

Hiroshi Mikitani, Rakuten chairman and chief executive, said: "Viber delivers the most consistently high quality and convenient messaging and VoIP experience available.

"Additionally, Viber has introduced a great sticker market and has tremendous potential as a gaming platform. Simply put, 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."

Rakuten claims to be the third-biggest e-commerce company and is centring all its services around a unified ID membership database that rewards customers with the Rakuten Super Points loyalty programme. 

Subscribe to Campaign from just £57 per quarter

Includes the weekly magazine and quarterly Campaign IQ, plus unrestricted online access.

SUBSCRIBE

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now
Sainsbury's moves £60m ad account to Wieden & Kennedy
Share

1 Sainsbury's moves £60m ad account to Wieden & Kennedy

Sainsbury's has moved its £60m advertising account into Wieden & Kennedy, ending its 35-year-relationship with Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO.

The top 10 brands favoured by Remainers and Brexiters
Shares0
Share

1 The top 10 brands favoured by Remainers and Brexiters

Marketers can learn about our divided nation by examining the brands that appeal across the voting referendum voting split, says Emily James, chief strategy officer at Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R.

Just published