Viber would not be sold to another company. That was the firm declaration of the chief executive officer of the popular instant messaging application firm. Talmon Marco, who is also an Israeli entrepreneur, dismissed speculations that his company would soon be turned over to another business.
Earlier this week, talks surfaced about how Viber will be allegedly acquired by another Asian company. The rumor was believed to have started from the Israeli financial newspaper Calcalist, which published a report that Viber was supposedly being eyed by another Asian instant messaging firm for about $300 million to $400 million.
In his statement, Mr.Marco declared that he has no idea what the sale rumors are all about. His company maintains development centers in Israel and Belarus.
Meanwhile, it was not clear which instant messaging firm was supposedly making an offer to buy Viber. There are several mobile chat and instant messaging apps that abound in the region. The most popular of those include China’s WeChat, South Korea’s KakaoTalk, and Japan’s Line.
Interestingly, those apps are now being used by hundreds of millions of users not just in Asia but in the world. In the US, WhatsApp is also making waves as a popular instant messaging service.
To date, Viber has around 200 million registered active users. Those are scattered in about 193 countries worldwide. Originally, the app was exclusive to smartphone users, particularly iOS and Android devices.
Recently, Viber launched an app for PCs. This new version facilitates outgoing mobile calls to all other Viber users around the world. The service can now also call non-registered mobile phones. This is why many people consider this version of Viber as a rival and potential alternative to Microsoft Corp’s Skype.
In the past several years, Viber has enjoyed its popularity being an instant messaging app. What endeared it the most to its users is the way it facilitates free and instant communication online.
The service can process and send text messages between Viber users anywhere in the world for free. Users can also make phone calls to other online Viber users, also free of charge. That is why it has become popular as an alternative to usually costly long-distance telephone calls.
Viber as a company is funded by its founders. It also has a number of private investors, mostly from the US.