Rakuten to buy messaging app Viber Media
New York — Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten Inc. will buy messaging app provider Viber Media Inc. for $900 million. Rakuten, which is also a major investor in Pinterest and owner of U.S. online retailer Play.com, seeks to use Viber as a platform for both mobile shopping and content consumption, according to the Associated Press.
Rakuten offers services from financing to shopping to online video on its e-commerce platform, the largest in Japan.
Viber, run from Cyprus by Israeli entrepreneur Talmon Marco, will add 300 million users to Rakuten's existing 200 million users, according to reports.
Viber is one of the top five most downloaded smartphone phone call and messaging apps, and counts the United States, Russia and Australia among its biggest markets.