Report: Rakuten Acquires Viki For $200 Million

Posted Sep 3, 2013

Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten has acquired Viki, a Hulu-like service that is known for hosting many international movies, according to AllThingsD.  The acquisition price is rumored to be at around $200 million.  Viki is a combination of the name “video” and “wiki.”

?Our foundation is not only limited to e-commerce, but an intention to strengthen our ecosystem in Japan and worldwide,? stated Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani in an interview with AllThingsD. ?We have been looking into finding a global solution for video.?

Rakuten has been growing at a rapid pace and is currently available in 13 markets.  The company also made a major investment in Pinterest and acquired Kobo for $315 million.  Rakuten also acquired Spanish video-on-demand company in June.

Viki started up in Singapore and offers premium television shows, movies, and music videos that are made accessible through crowdsourced subtitles.  Viki’s videos have been translated in around 170 languages (500 million words).  Viki generates revenues by putting advertising within the videos.

Viki raised around $25 million in funding from Andreessen Horowitz, SK Telecom, Greylock Partners, Omidyar Network, Charles River Ventures, and Neoteny Labs.  Neoteny’s Joi Ito is on Viki’s board of directors.