Singapore startup Viki, which streams videos with crowdsourced subtitles, is reportedly set to be acquired by Japanese e-commerce giant.
The purchase price is US$200 million, according to sources cited by AllThingsD on Monday. The news site had cited confirmation of the deal from Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani.
"Our foundation is not only limited to
Rakuten has been making an to expand and diversify its business over the years, such as its acquisition of Buy.com in the U.S. in 2010, and investments in Pinterest and .
According to Razmig Hovaghimian, Viki CEO and co-founder, his company's vision is well-aligned with Rakuten's in 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."
He elaborated in a statement that with Rakuten, Viki can now focus on building an entertainment ecosystem that seamlessly allows viewers and content partners to jump across platforms, and interact with relevant Rakuten products and services.
The acquisition will also allow Rakuten to leverage Viki's global footprint, content and language analytics, the statement added.
Story behind Viki
Viki's videos have been translated to nearly 170 languages. The video streaming service relies on a community of volunteers managing the channel, adding and refining subtitles under a Creative Commons license. Its subtitling technology allows thousands of fans to collaborate in multiple languages at the same time.
The company was set up in 2010 and has the backing of investors such as Greylock Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Charles River Ventures, Neoteny Labs, SK Telecom, , BBCWorldwide, and 500 StartUps
Viki also has partnerships in place to grow in the China market, wjere it has partnerships withand Sina Weibo, China's version of Facebook and Twitter respectively.
How the Viki concept works