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Viber Sold For $900M; Has 105M Monthly Active Users

Internet telephony and messaging company Viber, which has 15 million registered users in India and 300 million registered users internationally, has been acquired by Japanese membership-based Internet services company Rakuten for $900 million. Rakuten said in its earnings presentation that Viber has 105 million monthly active users globally and that the deal will be closed by March. Interestingly, Viber has already launched new stickers welcoming its new overlords. In a statement that sounds like we've heard it before, Rakuten said that it will integrate Viber's messaging system into "its existing services to create a unified social and communication platform". It is also looking at the acquisition of Viber as a way of expanding its reach to new markets, especially emerging markets where Viber has a huge install base. A substantial number of Viber users, 31.2%, are in Asia, while 24% of its users are in Western Europe. Middle East accounts for 12.3% of its user base and South America comprises 9.8%. Viber app currently receives 550,000 signs ups everyday. The Japanese company's co-founder and CEO Hiroshi Mikitan said that the decision to acquire Viber a no-brainer and added that "messaging apps are taking over the world". Frankly, we see Viber more as a calling service than a messaging service. It needs to be noted that eBay had bought Skype for more than $2 billion in 2005, and then sold the majority of its stake in 2009 to a private investment group for $1.2 billion. The only difference between 2005 and now is the popularity of…

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