Rakuten, the Japanese e-commerce giant behind sites like Play.com and Buy.com, has bought video-on-demand service Wuaki.tv, marking its first move into the Spanish market.
Wuaki.tv CEO and founder Jacinto Roca said the deal would allow it to expand “both in terms of services and geographical reach.”
“We are already seeing a significant uptake of services due to increasing numbers of connected TVs and mobile connected devices and believe that, ultimately, online video will replace traditional pay-for-TV services,” he added.
The three-year old, film-focused VoD service offers per-title film rentals as well as EUR4.99 (US$6.27) per month access.
The Barcelona-based company has deals in place with major Hollywood studios such as Warner, Sony, Disney and Fox International Channels and its service is available online and on connected TVs through deals with LG, Panasonic, Samsung and Philips.
Rakuten CEO and chairman Hiroshi Mikitani said the acquisition extended its digital footprint and claimed that VoD services in Europe and further afield were still in their infancy, “particularly when looking at media consumption via mobile connected devices and eReaders.”
Rakuten, which also owns e-reader firm Kobo, last month lead a US$100m round in rising social network Pinterest along with existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners, and FirstMark Capital. The Wuaki deal marks its fourth European acquisition in two years.
Rakuten’s other assets include online marketplaces such as France’s PriceMinister, Ikeda (now Rakuten Brasil) and Tradoria (now Rakuten Deutschland). The Tokyo-based firm was founded in 1997 and claims to have more than 10,000 employees and partner staff around the world
Financial terms of the Wuaki.tv deal were not disclosed.