Skype Has a New Competitor in Viber

Viber has recently merged with Rakuten, a Japanese internet giant, bringing to the fore, an arrangement that will become a threat to Skype.

Now you can add Viber to the list of small companies that were acquired by giants. Viber, a company that began as a humble start up based in Tel Aviv, is now going international with millions of users worldwide. Its fame comes from its compatibility with all the platforms and an almost 300 million users that have joined it since 2010.

With this amount of growth, Viber has become a constant threat to services like Skype. WhatsApp still leads the race with a constantly increasing growth chart that claims to have 500 million users. With this merger, Viber hopes to use the resources of its Japanese counterpart and achieve its goals.

Rakuten and the Merger

Rakuten is not new to the industry and is a big shot when it comes to acquisitions. They were in the news the last time when the company acquired Kobo’s e- reading business in the year 2012. This time, Rakuten has spent over $900 million on Viber just to be in the game. Rakuten’s CEO believes that the future lies in companies like Viber and they had to invest in it to stay around and grow with the trends.

The CEO Speaks

Viber’s CEO Talman Marco believes that a lot has changed in the communication industry in the last 10 years. Today, companies like Whatsapp and Viber have changed how people reach out to each other. He thinks the merger is apt because the future lies with the ventures like their own and the support of Rakuten will help them grow manifold.

Marco disclosed in an interview that Rakuten was not the only company interested to collaborate with Viber. According to him, there are many companies who are looking to grow with Viber. The names of these companies were not disclosed for obvious reasons, but one thing’s for sure; Viber is growing up to be a hot commodity in the market.

He made it very clear that with the help of Rakuten, they would like to further grow in the US which is currently their biggest market. They are going to use all the resources to make sure that they overshadow the US market. Viber is also very popular outside the US and is constantly adding up to its users’ list.

Looking Forward

The CEO emphasized on the point that Viber will keep improving and will be completely dedicated towards improvising the user’s experience. This comes after Viber has faced some hard times in 2013 when a bug popped up in it, which allowed the hackers to bypass the android’s screen lock. The company quickly fixed the problem but not before it made a dent in the reputation. Marco claimed that the user privacy is highly important to them and Viber will be constantly working to ensure that no such loop holes come up ever again.

The goal of the merger is to bring to its users some of best experiences when it comes to chatting and talking. But will that be enough to replace a communication giant like Skype? It needs to be seen if Viber can ever defeat the simplicity and class of Skype.

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