Feeds

Play.com tech titan snaps up 'VoIP-tastic WhatsApp' firm Viber

Rakuten acquires app for $900m in cold hard cash

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Japanese ecommerce giant Rakuten will slurp messaging app Viber for $900m in cash as it continues its plans for world domination.

The firm behind Play.com offers services from shopping to online video and is now adding messaging and VoIP to its repertoire courtesy of Viber, which is run from Cyprus by Israeli entrepreneur Talmon Marco. The app purchase will bring over 300 million users to add to Rakuten's existing 200 million users.

Rakuten, hugely popular in Japan, has been busily expanding out of its home territory with a number of acquisitions. In 2012, it snapped up ereading service Kobo and video-on-demand service Wuaki.tv, while late last year it acquired digital content platform Viki.

Rakuten chairman and CEO Hiroshi Mikitani told media in Japan that the buying up Viber would take the firm "to a different level".

"Developing this messaging system on our own would have been impossible," he said.

He explained that the company planned to integrate the messaging service into existing services by allowing users to instantly message online stores, for example.

According to a statement from the companies, Viber has grown over 120 per cent in 2013. Viber chief Marco said that it aims to be the number one communications platform after it's acquired by Rakuten. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T dangles gigabit broadband plans over 100 US cities
So soon after a mulled Google Fiber expansion, fancy that
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes
Bandwidth hogger needs tube embiggenment if it's to succeed
Turnbull gave NBN Co NO RULES to plan blackspot upgrades
NBN Co faces huge future Telstra bills and reduces fibre footprint
NBN Co plans fibre-to-the-basement blitz to beat cherry-pickers
Heading off at the pass operation given same priority as blackspot fixing
NBN Co in 'broadband kit we tested worked' STUNNER
Announcement of VDSL trial is not proof of concept for fibre-to-the-node
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.