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Rakuten adquire Viber por US$900 milhões

Rakuten Inc (4755:Tokyo), uma das maiores empresas do mundo em serviços de Internet, anunciou hoje a aquisição da Viber, uma empresa pioneira no serviço de mensagens instantâneas e VoIP. Rakuten vai adquirir a Viber pelo valor total de US$900 milhões. A aquisição representa outro passo ousado da Rakuten para entrar no espaço de conteúdo digital, após as aquisições da Kobo, Wuaki.tv e Viki.

À medida que as pessoas continuam a deslocar-se do conteúdo tradicional e das plataformas de comunicação para os aplicativos móveis, o Viber, um dos serviços de comunicação móvel mais populares do mundo inteiro, com um banco de usuários global de 300 milhões de usuários registrados e de crescimento rápido, complementa perfeitamente a estratégia da Rakuten no espaço digital. Como a Rakuten tem como meta se tornar a principal empresa de serviços de Internet no mundo, esta aquisição permitirá a Rakuten entrar em novos mercados com várias ofertas de conteúdo digital, junto com suas plataformas de serviços e-commerce e financeiros.

Com 40 serviços diferentes, a Rakuten construiu um dos ecossistemas de serviços de Internet mais robustos e dinâmicos do mundo, centrado em torno de um banco de dados de associação por ID, que apresenta o programa de recompensas on-line tremendamente popular e bem sucedido, Rakuten Super Points. A abordagem divertida da Viber para os serviços de mensagem e VoIP de alta qualidade é uma união perfeita com as ofertas de conteúdo digital da Rakuten e sua filosofia “Shopping is Entertainment”, que estabelece as bases para a plataforma on-line diária mais abrangente e envolvente do mundo. A combinação também abre as portas para novos grandes mercados potenciais para a Viber, através de cerca de 225 milhões de membros globais do Rakuten Group.

O presidente do conselho de administração e diretor executivo da Rakuten, Hiroshi Mikitani, comentou:

“Estou muito animado por receber a Viber na família Rakuten. Viber oferece a experiência de mensagens instantâneas e VoIP de mais alta qualidade e conveniente disponível. Além disso, a Viber trouxe um grande mercado de adesivos e tem um tremendo potencial como uma plataforma de jogos. Simplificando, a Viber entende como as pessoas realmente desejam se envolver e, por isso, criou o único serviço que oferece, verdadeiramente, soluções em todas as frentes. Isso torna o Viber a plataforma ideal para atrair a atenção do consumidor à Rakuten, à medida que procuramos trazer nosso profundo entendimento do consumidor para novos grandes públicos, através de nosso ecossistema dinâmico de serviços de Internet.”

O diretor executivo e fundador da Viber, Talmon Marco, frisou estas cooperações:

“A Rakuten é uma das principais empresas de Internet do mundo. Ela é verdadeiramente dominante em seu mercado caseiro do Japão e está expandindo-se rapidamente a nível global. Esta combinação apresenta uma oportunidade maravilhosa à Viber para aprimorar nosso rápido crescimento de usuários, nos mercados existentes e novos. Ao compartilhar aspirações semelhantes com a Rakuten, nossa visão é ser a principal plataforma de comunicação do mundo inteiro e essa associação com a Rakuten é um passo importante nessa direção”.

A adoção do aplicativo de multiplataforma da Viber é inegavelmente impressionante. O negócio demonstrou crescimento significativo ao atingir 300 milhões de usuários registrados, com crescimento aproximado de 120% em 2013.

Rakuten começou sua marcha em direção ao conteúdo digital global em 2012, com a aquisição da Kobo Inc., um dos serviços de eReading de mais rápido crescimento no mundo, que oferece agora 4 milhões de eBooks, revistas e jornais para clientes em 190 países. Em 2012, a Rakuten adquiriu a Wuaki.tv, um serviço inovador de video-on-demand e streaming com base na Europa, que começou recentemente sua expansão internacional além da Espanha, para oferecer aos clientes no Reino Unido seu principal catálogo de títulos de filmes e modelo exclusivo de pagamento híbrido. Recentemente, em setembro de 2013, a Rakuten adquiriu a plataforma de conteúdo digital sem fronteiras, Viki, que agora alcança 65% de seus 30 milhões de usuários mensais por meio de dispositivos móveis.

Assessores

Goldman, Sachs & Co. atuou como assessor financeiro exclusivo para a Viber. White & Case LLP atuou como o único assessor jurídico para a Viber.

SOBRE A RAKUTEN, INC.

Rakuten, Inc. (4755:Tokyo), é uma das principais empresas de serviços de Internet no mundo inteiro, que oferece uma variedade de serviços para consumidores e empresas, inclusive nas áreas de e-commerce, eReading, viagens, serviços bancários, títulos, cartões de crédito, e-money (moeda eletrônica), logística, portal e mídia, marketing on-line e esportes profissionais. Em 2012 e 2013, a Rakuten figurou entre as 10 empresas mais inovadoras do mundo, de acordo com o ranking anual da revista Forbes. A Rakuten está em fase de expansão no mundo inteiro e está presente na Ásia, Europa, Américas e Oceania. Com sede em Tóquio, a Rakuten foi fundada em 1997 e atualmente tem aproximadamente 10.000 funcionários e colaboradores no mundo inteiro. Para obter mais informações, acesse: http://global.rakuten.com/corp/.

SOBRE O VIBER

O Viber é desenvolvido pela Viber Media, uma empresa pioneira de mensagens móveis e VoIP. O Viber permite que todos possam se conectar livremente. Os usuários do Viber podem enviar, gratuitamente, mensagens de texto, adesivos engraçados, fotos, vídeos e doodles, compartilhar posicionamentos em qualquer lugar do mundo, fazer ligações gratuitas de qualidade HD, se comunicar através do Push-To-Talk. Com o Viber Out, os usuários serão capazes de fazer ligações com tarifas reduzidas para qualquer número de telefone no mundo inteiro. O Viber está disponível para telefones iPhone® e telefones e tablets com Android, dispositivos Windows Phone, Blackberry®, Windows®, Windows 8®, Mac, Linux, Symbian, Nokia S40 e Bada, em conexões 3G/4G ou WiFi. Com aproximadamente 300 milhões de usuários em 193 países, a Viber está constantemente inovando, com novas plataformas e novas funcionalidades cheias de humor.

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