Official Press Release
Earlier this year, Viber introduced Instant Shopping, a feature powered by Chatter Commerce's ShopChat technology, and it announces today the acquisition of the Silicon Valley-based company. The investment yields a new social e-commerce experience for Viber users, allowing them to find, share and discuss the products and brands they’re interested in, directly within their chats
TEL AVIV – AUGUST, 2017 – Rakuten Viber, one of the world’s leading messaging apps, announces today the acquisition of Chatter Commerce, the startup that created the first keyboard for mobile commerce, ShopChat. The acquisition is a result of a successful four-month launch period of the Instant Shopping feature for Viber’s U.S. market. Thirty percent of Viber users in the U.S. have already used the feature since its launch in March 2017. Rakuten Inc., Rakuten Viber’s parent company and Japanese e-commerce giant, had previously invested in Chatter Commerce during their first round of funding.
Rakuten Viber is taking bold steps towards reinventing mobile commerce by giving users the ability to shop directly within their chats, recognizing that shopping is a traditionally social activity. Instant Shopping has brought Viber users an in-chat shopping experience that allows them to shop online with the people they would otherwise go to the store with – giving them the ability to search, share and discuss items, and even communicate directly with their favorite brands.
Chatter Commerce’s team of seven engineers based in San Francisco will become a part of the Rakuten Viber team. Zephrin Lasker, CEO and Co-Founder of Chatter Commerce will become Global Head of E-commerce at Rakuten Viber. In his role, Lasker will steer the company’s global mobile commerce strategy, focusing on expansion into new markets, as well as exploring more technologies that will boost the Viber experience even further.
“We founded Chatter Commerce on the basis that people should be able to do much more in their chats than what is currently available,” says Lasker. “Rakuten Viber’s innovative vision extends beyond the minor details of feature optimization that most messaging apps are focused on today their objective is to dramatically expand the role messaging apps have in people’s everyday lives.”
“This investment is a new step in our journey to transform Viber into a multi-service communication platform. We want to bring more value to our hundreds of millions of users around the world while keeping the experience simple and seamless. Chatter Commerce’s technology will actively support our vision, and their team is a perfect fit for our culture of innovation,” says Djamel Agaoua, CEO of Rakuten Viber.
At Rakuten Viber, we connect people. No matter who they are, or where they are from. Our 800+ million users worldwide get access to a range of features like one-on-one chats, video calls, groups messaging or updates and discussions with their favorite brands and celebrities. We ensure our users a secure and free environment to share their emotions. Rakuten Viber is part of the Rakuten Group, a world leader in e-commerce and financial services, and the official communication channel of FC Barcelona. Join Viber today and enjoy the world’s best communication experience.
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Djamel Agaoua - CEO
Michael Shmilov - COO