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Rakuten fait l'acquisition de Viber pour 900 millions de dollars

Rakuten Inc (4755:Tokyo), l'un des chefs de file mondiaux parmi les sociétés de services sur Internet, a annoncé aujourd'hui avoir acquis la société Viber, pionnière en matière de messagerie et de VoIP. Rakuten fera l'acquisition de Viber pour une somme totale 900 millions de dollars. Cette acquisition constitue une nouvelle étape téméraire pour Rakuten dans l'univers des contenus numériques, faisant suite à l'acquisition de Kobo, Wuaki.tv et Viki.

Alors que les consommateurs continuent de passer des plateformes de contenus et de communication traditionnelles aux applications mobiles, Viber, l'un des services de communication mobile les plus populaires au monde, avec une clientèle en développement rapide comptant au total plus de 300 millions d'utilisateurs inscrits, s'intègre parfaitement dans la stratégie de Rakuten dans l'univers numérique. Rakuten aspirant à devenir le numéro un mondial des sociétés de services Internet, cette acquisition lui permettra de pénétrer de nouveaux marchés grâce à de multiples offres de contenu numérique, en association avec ses plateformes de commerce électronique et de services financiers.

Avec 40 services différents, Rakuten a construit l'un des écosystèmes de services Internet les plus solides et les plus dynamiques du monde, centré autour d'une base de données ID unifiée qui intègre le programme de récompenses en ligne Rakuten Super Points, extrêmement populaire et fructueux. L'approche ludique de Viber en matière de messagerie et de services VoIP de grande qualité s'allie parfaitement aux offres de contenu numérique de Rakuten et à sa philosophie « le shopping est un divertissement », jetant ainsi les bases de la plateforme en ligne quotidienne la plus complète et la plus attrayante du monde. Cette alliance ouvre également d'immenses nouveaux marchés potentiels pour Viber, via les quelque 225 millions de membres que compte le Groupe Rakuten à l'échelle mondiale.

Hiroshi Mikitani, président-directeur général de Rakuten, a déclaré :

« Je suis très enthousiaste à l'idée d'accueillir Viber dans la famille Rakuten. Viber fournit l'expérience de messagerie et de VoIP dont la qualité et la praticité sont les plus cohérentes. De plus, Viber a lancé un gros marché d'autocollants et possède un potentiel énorme en tant que plateforme de jeux. Bref, Viber comprend comment les gens veulent véritablement s'engager et a développé le seul service qui assure vraiment sur tous les fronts. Cela fait de Viber la plateforme d'engagement total des consommateurs idéale pour Rakuten, alors que nous cherchons à étendre notre connaissance approfondie du consommateur à de nouveaux publics importants via notre écosystème dynamique de services Internet. »

Talmon Marco, PDG et fondateur de Viber, a souligné ces synergies :

« Rakuten est l'une des sociétés Internet les plus importantes au monde. Elle est véritablement dominante sur son marché national, le Japon, et connaît un développement rapide à l'échelle mondiale. Pour Viber, cette association représente une formidable opportunité de booster la croissance rapide de sa clientèle d'utilisateurs à la fois sur les marchés existants et sur de nouveaux marchés. Partageant avec Rakuten des aspirations similaires, notre ambition est d'être la première plateforme de communication au monde ; notre alliance avec Rakuten est un pas important dans cette direction. »

L'adoption de l'application multiplateformes de Viber est indéniablement impressionnante. L'activité a connu une croissance importante, avec aujourd'hui 300 millions d'utilisateurs inscrits, soit une augmentation de 120 % en 2013.

Rakuten a commencé à pénétrer le marché mondial du contenu numérique en 2012, avec l'acquisition de Kobo Inc., l'un des services de lecture électronique qui connaît la croissance la plus rapide dans le monde, et qui propose aujourd'hui 4 millions de livres, de magazines et de journaux électroniques à ses clients dans 190 pays. En 2012, Rakuten a acquis Wuaki.tv, un service innovant de vidéo à la demande et de streaming basé en Europe, qui a récemment commencé son développement international au-delà de l'Espagne, en proposant aux clients du Royaume-Uni son premier catalogue de films ainsi qu'un modèle de paiement hybride unique. Plus récemment, en septembre 2013, Rakuten a fait l'acquisition de Viki, une plateforme de contenu numérique sans frontières, que 65 % de ses 30 millions d'utilisateurs mensuels utilisent via des appareils mobiles.

Conseillers

Goldman, Sachs & Co. est intervenu comme seul conseiller financier de Viber. White & Case LLP est intervenu comme seul conseiller juridique de Viber.

À propos de RAKUTEN, INC.

Rakuten, Inc. (4755:Tokyo), chef de file mondial parmi les sociétés de services sur Internet, offre toute une gamme de services aux particuliers et aux entreprises ayant trait, notamment, aux domaines suivants : commerce électronique, lecture électronique, voyages, services bancaires, valeurs mobilières, cartes de crédit, portefeuille électronique, logistique, portails et médias, marketing en ligne et sports professionnels. En 2012 comme en 2013, Rakuten a été classée parmi le Top 10 mondial des entreprises les plus innovantes dans le palmarès annuel du magazine Forbes. Rakuten connaît une expansion mondiale et ses activités s'étendent à l'Asie, l'Europe, l'Amérique du Nord et du Sud, ainsi que l'Océanie. Fondée en 1997, Rakuten est basée à Tokyo Rakuten et compte aujourd'hui plus de 10 000 employés dans le monde. Pour un complément d'information, veuillez consulter le site http://global.rakuten.com/corp/.

À propos de VIBER

Viber a été développé par Viber Media, une société pionnière en matière de messagerie mobile et de VoIP. Viber permet à toute personne dans le monde de se connecter. Gratuitement. Les utilisateurs de Viber peuvent envoyer gratuitement des messages écrits, des autocollants ludiques, des photos, des vidéos et des dessins, partager des localisations partout dans le monde, passer gratuitement des appels de qualité HD et communiquer avec la fonction Push-To-Talk. Avec Viber Out, les utilisateurs peuvent passer des appels à faible coût vers tout numéro de téléphone dans le monde. Viber est disponible pour iPhone®, les téléphones et tablettes Android™, les téléphones Windows Phone, les appareils Blackberry®, Windows®, Windows 8®, Mac, Linux, Symbian, Nokia S40 et Bada sur des réseaux 3G/4G ou Wi-Fi. Avec plus de 300 millions d'utilisateurs dans 193 pays, Viber innove en permanence en introduisant de nouvelles plateformes et en ajoutant de nouvelles fonctionnalités ludiques.

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