How Viber Makes Money

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Viber, as mentioned on their website, is a calling and messaging app that connects people–no matter who they are, or where they’re from.  Investopedia has termed Viber, as a popular voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) application. If you refer to these sites, you will find one billion Viber users in hundreds of countries worldwide to make calls and send instant messages. So the question is “How are they making money?”.

Viber actually makes money from asking its users to pay, while making international calls and also for using special features. Investopedia also claims as the reasons for its popularity lies in its mandate to never charge for its software, never display any ads, and never charge for Viber-to-Viber calls or text messages.

The software behind Viber was created in 2010 in Tel Aviv, Israel and later in 2014, Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten purchased Viber which officially became known as Rakuten Viber.

Although Rakuten does not provide detailed revenue information for Viber to the public, its FY2017 annual report indicated that revenues for the VOIP service had more than doubled over the previous year, with net sales climbing by 123.3% for the same time period.

Viber’s Business Model

Official documents from Rakuten showed that Viber made a total of $1.5 million dollars in revenue and incurred net losses of $29.5 million in 2013 and $14.7 million in 2012. At the time of its acquisition by Rakuten, Viber had committed to being a free-to-download service and to being ad-free into the future. At this point, while Viber is still free for users to download and Viber-to-Viber calls remain free as well, users do experience ads on both desktop and mobile platforms. Indeed, advertisements have become a key component of Viber’s revenue generation strategy.

Viber primarily generates revenue through three streams: the company’s international phone service Viber Out, sticker and marketplace sales for users, and its business services; including advertisements as well as other brand-building and marketing offers.