Newsletters
Customer Relationship Management News NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
Home CRM Systems Customer Service Business Intelligence Sales & Marketing More Topics...
Vblock™ Systems:
Advanced converged infrastructure
increases productivity & lowers costs.

www.vce.com
World Wide Web
Real-time info services with Neustar
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Rakuten Feels Viber
Rakuten Feels Viber's Messaging Vibe for $900 Million

By Jennifer LeClaire
February 14, 2014 10:25AM

Bookmark and Share
Viber is not like Skype or WhatsApp in terms of popularity, but Rakuten felt it could be a platform on which it could build monetizable services. There’s an interest in retailers like Tokyo-based Rakuten having channels of communication with their customers. Rakuten bought Buy.com in the U.S., so that may part of its interest in buying Viber.
 

Related Topics

Viber
Skype
WhatsApp
Telecom


Viber has been snapped up by Rakuten for nearly $1 billion. If those names sound foreign to you, that’s because one of them is from Japan and the other is a startup that is growing in the shadows of Skype and WhatsApp.

Based in Tokyo, Rakuten is one of the world’s largest Internet services companies. Viber Media is a startup that has gained fast momentum in the mobile messaging and VoIP space. Rakuten picked up Viber for $900 million, following other digital content acquisitions in Kobo, Wuaki.tv and Viki.

“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,” said Rakuten Chairman and CEO Hiroshi Mikitani. “This makes Viber the ideal total consumer engagement platform for Rakuten as we seek to bring our deep understanding of the consumer to vast new audiences through our dynamic ecosystem of Internet Services.”

Feeling Viber’s Vibes

As people continue to shift from traditional content and communications platforms to mobile applications, Viber has emerged as one of the most popular mobile communications services in the world. Viber boasts a rapidly growing global user base of 300 million registered users.

Rakuten believes Viber complements its digital strategy. The company is aiming to become the world’s leading Internet services company and is betting that Viber can help the company penetrate new markets with multiple digital content offerings, in combination with its e-commerce and financial services platforms.

Rakuten has 40 different services, qualifying it as one of the world’s most robust and dynamic Internet services ecosystems centered around a unified ID membership database that features the online Rakuten Super Points rewards program.

What’s in it for Rakuten?

Rakuten said Viber’s approach to messaging and high quality VoIP services is a perfect marriage with its digital content offerings and its “Shopping is Entertainment” philosophy. The company also expects the deal to unlock new potential markets for Viber through its roughly 225 million global members.

Rakuten ventured into global digital content in 2012 with the acquisition of Kobo Inc., one of the world’s fastest-growing e-reading services. In 2012, Rakuten acquired Wuaki.tv, a Europe-based video-on-demand and streaming service, which recently began its international expansion beyond Spain by offering customers in the UK its movie titles catalogue and hybrid payment model. More recently, in September 2013, Rakuten acquired borderless digital content platform, Viki, which now reaches 65 percent of its 30 million monthly users through mobile devices.

So where does Viber fit into this mix? We caught up with Ross Rubin, a principal analyst at Reticle Research, to get his take. He told us Vibe is not like Skype or WhatsApp in terms of its popularity but clearly the company felt that it could be a platform on which they could build future monetizable services.

“There’s clearly an interest in retailers having channels of communication with their customers. Rakuten is a large retailer based in Japan,” Rubin said. “Rakuten bought Buy.com here in the U.S., so that may be part of their interest. In addition, there’s a potential viral marketing play where they could send alerts to customers as they interacted or came close to retailers in the physical world.”
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



Your Next Generation Data Center Is Here! Vblock™ Systems: the world's most advanced converged infrastructure are built on the Cisco Unified Computing System with Intel® Xeon® processors. Vblock™ Systems deliver extraordinary time to market, ROI and TCO, and flexibility to meet your continually changing demands with 5X faster deployment, 96% less downtime, and 1/2 the cost. Click here to learn more.


 World Wide Web
1.   'Like' Cheerios, Give Up Right To Sue
2.   Heartbleed Could Cost Millions
3.   Google Earnings, Sales Disappoint
4.   Tech Giant Alibaba Plans U.S. IPO
5.   Google Street View Unravels CAPTCHAs


advertisement
Heartbleed Could Cost Millions
But it could have been prevented.
Average Rating:
Don't Reset Passwords for Heartbleed?
Added caution needed to ensure security.
Average Rating:
Internet Devices Lure Hackers
Mundane devices end up in online crime.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Michaels Says Nearly 3M Credit, Debit Cards Breached
Arts and crafts retail giant Michaels Stores has confirmed that a data breach at its POS terminals from May 2013 to Jan. 2014 may have exposed nearly 3 million customer credit and debit cards.
 
Heartbleed Could Cost Millions, Could Have Been Prevented
Early estimates of Heartbleed’s cost to enterprises are running in the millions. The reason: revoking all the SSL certificates the bug leaked will come at a very hefty price.
 
Google's Street View Software Unravels CAPTCHAs
The latest software Google uses for its Street View cars to read street numbers in images for Google Maps works so well that it also solves CAPTCHAs, those puzzles designed to defeat bots.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Vaio Fit 11A Battery Danger Forces Recall by Sony
Using a Sony Vaio Fit 11A laptop? It's time to send it back to Sony. In fact, Sony is encouraging people to stop using the laptop after several reports of its Panasonic battery overheating.
 
Continued Drop in Global PC Shipments Slows
Worldwide shipments of PCs fell during the first three months of the year, but the global slump in PC demand may be easing, with a considerable slowdown from last year's drops.
 
Google Glass Finds a Home in Medical Education, Practice
Google Glass may find its first markets in verticals in which hands-free access to data is a boon. Medicine is among the most prominent of those, as seen in a number of Glass experiments under way.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Google Releases Chrome Remote Desktop App for Android
You're out on a sales call, and use your Android mobile device to grab a file you have back at the office on your desktop. That's a bit easier now with Google's Chrome Remote Desktop app for Android.
 
Amazon 3D Smartphone Pics Leaked
E-commerce giant Amazon is reportedly set to launch a smartphone after years of development. Photos of the phone, which may feature a unique 3D interface, were leaked by tech pub BGR.
 
Zebra Tech Buys Motorola Enterprise for $3.45B
Weeks after Lenovo bought Motorola Mobility’s assets from Google for $2.91 billion, Zebra Technologies is throwing down $3.45 billion for Motorola’s Enterprise business in an all-cash deal.
 

Navigation
CRM Daily
Home/Top News | CRM Systems | Customer Service | Business Intelligence | Sales & Marketing | Contact Centers | Customer Data | CRM Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters | XML/RSS Feed

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.