Japan’s Rakuten Inc. announced its plan to acquire mobile and chat messaging application Viber. The deal, which will push the Japanese e-commerce company into its first foray into mobile messaging and to the No.1 spot, with the 300 million registered users on Viber, is reportedly worth $900 million.
Rakuten’s bid to become No. 1 in the Internet services saw the Japanese giant buy numerous tech firms including Kobo, the maker of e-book readers and tablets, and the global video site Viki. The Cyprus-based Viber is a great match for the business plan Rakuten has set for itself, as it “perfectly complements” Rakuten’s digital strategy. A statement issued by the company addresses the deal, “As Rakuten aims to become the world’s number one Internet services company, this acquisition will enable Rakuten to penetrate new markets with multiple digital content offerings, in combination with its e-commerce and financial services platforms.”
While Rakuten services have a stronghold in Japan, penetrating the overseas markets remains to be seen for this e-commerce firm. With the addition of Viber’s mobile messaging to Rakuten, it will be an ideal platform for the Japanese giant to diversify itself. The deal not only highlights Rakuten’s competitive edge to crack the international market, but also demonstrates how important and strategic mobile messaging services have become in this digital age.
[via The Next Web]