mobile messaging service Viber is about to get some big help this week, but this time it came from a shopping specialist. Rakuten Viber, Viber’s parent company, has just acquired an e-commerce startup Chatter Commerce, maker of the popular ShopChat service. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed to the public.

According to TechCrunch, Rakuten Viber this week acquired the San Francisco-based Chatter Commerce, the company behind the popular mobile shopping keyboard and the world’s first shopping keyboard ShopChat. The deal signals Viber’s plans of going deeper in the e-commerce space.

The timing of the deal is good for Viber. The deal comes at a time when the instant messaging has increasingly become the favorite platform for today’s online shopping. Social networking giant Facebook has already integrated shopping features to its Messenger app service. And it’s not just Facebook, tech giant Amazon is also on the move. The Seattle-based company is already rumored to be working on its own messaging service that comes with its own shopping features built right in the rumored messaging service.

Chatter Commerce deal, a complete circle for Rakuten Viber

Founded in 2016 and based in San Francisco, Chatter Commerce develops a keyboard for doing shopping called ShopChat. The company’s core product ShopChat is a downloadable iOS mobile app that can replace the mobile device’s default keyboard app.

ShopChat works across all messaging services, which include Facebook Messenger, iMessage WhatsApp, and more.

Additionally, it also offers a white-label product that third party applications can be used or integrate directly into their services via an API (application programming interface).

The San Francisco-based Chatter Commerce currently has a team of seven engineers, and this week they will go to Rakuten Viber along with Chatter Commerce CEO Zephrin Lasker as the head of global e-commerce at Viber.

Part of Lasker’s job is to steer the company’s global mobile commerce strategy and help push the service into new markets.

Online shopping in the Viber app is no longer new. The messaging service Viber had already integrated the ShopChat’s technology into their mobile messaging service. Viber said that around 30 percent of its U.S.

users have already used the shopping feature since its introduction in the market.

The ShopChat feature provides users quick access to retailers’ catalogs, and it even allows users to search for items right on mobile app Viber. More importantly, the feature allows users to shop online with the same people or friends would like to go to shopping malls, providing them with some great advice and even discuss some items.

Before the deal with Rakuten Viber, Chatter Commerce had managed to raise around $1 million in seed funding, with the Japan retailer giant Rakuten as one of its lead investors. The Japanese giant has already invested in Chatter Commerce during its first funding round. Rakuten Viber was created when the Japanese retail giant Rakuten bought the Israeli-based Viber for a whopping $900 million in 2014.

This makes the new deal with Chatter Commerce a complete circle for Rakuten Viber.

Viber, the fast-growing messaging service

Founded in 2010 and developed by the Israeli-based Viber Media, Viber is free, cross-platform instant mobile messaging and voice over IP (VOIP) service. Additionally, the service also allows users to share images and video to each other. It changed its corporate name to Rakuten Viber when it was acquired by Rakuten on 2014. The messaging service has grown so fast, reaching more than 800 million users globally.

In addition, the messaging service has also made several acquisitions in the past. In 2015, it acquired a startup called Nextpeer for $9 million. Nextpeer creates a cross-platform social layer for mobile game developers.

The deal signals Viber’s plans to get into the mobile gaming business.

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