Viber seems to be to problem Skype with backing from Japanese web big

Viber looks to challenge Skype with backing from Japanese internet giant

Let’s face it: The tech business is beginning to get used to huge-identify corporations buying younger, comparatively profitable startups. To wit, such was the case for Viber, a Tel Aviv-based mostly service that allows you to use an app to speak by means of telephone calls and immediate messages. Viber’s acquisition by Rakuten, a Japanese e-commerce and web big, got here after the platform welcomed greater than 300 million customers worldwide since 2010, making it one of the common purposes throughout iOS, Android, Home windows Telephone and BlackBerry. That progress, together with its flourishing attraction, have made Viber an actual menace to providers like Skype — although, on the messaging entrance, it’s nonetheless making an attempt to catch as much as WhatsApp, which is at 500 million lively customers and counting. However regardless of all of this, Viber nonetheless needs to continue to grow, and it plans to make use of Rakuten’s assets to assist it get to the place it needs to be.

“We proceed to have enjoyable, develop our product and introduce new and thrilling updates.”

Viber’s CEO Talmon Marco informed me that life at his firm hasn’t modified since becoming a member of the Rakuten household: “We function the identical approach [we] did earlier than. This implies we proceed to have enjoyable, develop our product and introduce new and thrilling updates.” And maintaining the Viber apps filled with helpful options is one thing that is essential to Marco, which is why they’re always being up to date on each platform. For its half, Rakuten is not new to the acquisition recreation: Again in 2012, the corporate accomplished its buy of Kobo’s e-studying enterprise. In a current interview with Re/code, Hiroshi Mikitani, Rakuten’s co-founder and CEO, stated spending $900 million on Viber was a “no-brainer,” citing the recognition of comparable providers because the driving drive behind the acquisition.

Viber looks to challenge Skype with backing from Japanese internet giant

To outsiders, it wasn’t straightforward to pinpoint why Rakuten would need to personal Viber. Nevertheless, Marco thinks this can be a good match. “We consider cellular messaging apps like Viber are quickly turning into the communication technique of selection for most individuals. Each Rakuten and Viber felt consumer expertise on lots of Rakuten’s providers might develop into higher when you let individuals talk with them by way of Viber,” Marco stated. However as to which Rakuten providers he is referring to, he did not specify. Nonetheless, even with any future integration with merchandise from its father or mother firm, Viber will “proceed to function independently [from] Rakuten, however with in depth cooperation.”

“Tapping into Rakuten’s assets and know-how ought to assist us speed up our progress within the US and elsewhere.”

Marco additionally informed Engadget that one of many principal objectives for Viber going ahead is to maintain increasing within the US. As in style because the app is outdoors of the States, Viber stated the US stays its largest market. With Rakuten on its aspect, Marco stated Viber should take advantage of the chance. “Tapping into Rakuten’s assets and know-how ought to assist us speed up our progress within the US and elsewhere,” he added. And if Rakuten hadn’t come into the image, the extra assets might have come from elsewhere; Marco stated that there was curiosity from different corporations, however did not share the names of any of them.

Viber looks to challenge Skype with backing from Japanese internet giant

In fact, as has occurred on quite a few events with these kind of providers, not every little thing has gone easily for Viber. In 2013, the service caught a whole lot of warmth for an exploit that allowed hackers to bypass the Android lockscreen, and whereas Viber was fast to react, customers weren’t too comfortable that this occurred within the first place. However Marco informed me consumer privateness and safety are his firm’s primary precedence. “In any case, we ourselves use the product continuously and care about our personal privateness. Viber has by no means skilled a breach of consumer knowledge or our manufacturing system,” he stated. “A number of third-celebration exams have demonstrated our prime-notch consideration to safety and we proceed to work exhausting [for] issues to remain this manner.”

Marco feels that combining Viber’s strong calling and messaging options with the power to maintain your knowledge safe is a recipe for fulfillment. Finally, as he is informed us up to now, the objective is to convey the perfect speaking and chatting expertise to you, no matter which working system you’re utilizing. However will this be sufficient so that you can decide it over an enormous participant like Skype? Properly, that decision is so that you can make.

[Picture credit: Flickr, Sam Azgor; Getty Pictures]

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