the Japanese e-commerce giant acquires Viber to compete with Line app
News about the instant messaging and VoIP app Viber was making the circles quite often on the internet recently and there were some talks about the acquisition also. Looks like these weren’t just rumors and the deal has already been confirmed though not in the same sum as it was expected. Instead of the $300-400 million which was expected, the deal is now costing an incredible sum of $900 million.
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Rakuten is the big Japanese e-commerce giant which is going to be the new owner Viber and the reason why it wanted to acquire Viber was to compete with Line app which is equally successful in the field. Last year Line app had 300 million users and this year it is hoping for an increase and has also made a target for a higher number of 500 million. It stands in line with Viber since the customer base is the same for both at the moment (300 million users). Viber has been growing rapidly; only three months ago it had a user base of 200 million. The increase had followed the announcement of the Viber Out which was similar to Skype Out.
Rakuten stands somewhere in the middle of these two competitors with a user base of 225 million and the services of it revolve around the unified ID membership database. Viber’s growth will be accelerated to a great extent if the IDs are merged together.