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Rakuten expansion absorbs Viki

Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten is continuing the expansion of its VoD business with the acquisition of video streaming platform Viki.

Viki, launched in December 2010, has offices in San Francisco, Singapore, Seoul and Tokyo and uses advertising as its primary revenue source.

It carries primetime TV shows, movies, music videos and other premium content. The platform’s viewers have subtitled the content into 160 languages.

Rakuten has acquired the platform to leverage Viki’s global footprint, content and language analytics, the company said in a statement.

It’s the latest international VoD acquisition by the Japanese firm following the buy out of Spain’s in June last year. has subsequently expanded into the UK offering movies to the local audience.

Rakuten, which says Viki has more than 22 million users and 50 employees across its four offices, has previously bought into, and eReading service Kobo.

Razmig Hovaghimian, Viki CEO and co-founder, said: “Our vision is very well aligned with Rakuten’s focus on building a borderless digital ecosystem. We’ve built a truly global TV platform, with and for the fans, allowing content owners to reach the world in any language.”

Financial terms were not disclosed, though reports put a US$200m price tag on the deal.

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