Following the sale, Rakuten’s Chairman and CEO, Hiroshi Mikitani said, “Viber understands how people actually want to engage and have built the only service that truly delivers on all fronts.”
Viber CEO Talmon Marco said that Viber’s vision, “is to be the world’s number one communications platform and our combination with Rakuten is an important step in that direction.”
Viber, which is officially registered in Cyprus but was founded by Israelis and maintains a development center here, boasts 200 million users who use the program to make calls and send texts to other users using data or WiFi.
Earlier in the week Viber denied reports of a buyout by an Asian company, telling Globes, “I am unaware of any such talks, and I have no idea where the media found this.”
Because it is registered abroad, Israel will not receive tax revenues from Viber’s sale.
Viber recently unveiled desktop versions of its application to connect computers to mobile phones as well.
Niv Elis contributed to this report.