According to TechCruch, text and video calling application Viber has made its first acquisition. It has paid $9 million for Nextpeer, an Israel based gaming startup. Nextpeer offers the game developers an SDK which incorporates social gaming into the apps.
Rakuten, who acquired Vider last year for $900 million, says that all the related services including the SDK would stay online and will be integrated to the Viber’s platform. The employees who were working for Nextpeer would join the team of Viber just after the acquisition.
Michael Shmilov, the CEO of Viber was very pleased with the integration of Nextpeer with Viber. He said, “We are delighted to welcome the Nextpeer team to the Viber family. In this deal, we looked for a team that shares our passion, drives innovative thinking and brings its expertise in building an open platform for developers.”
Nextpeer, as a gaming service, was introduced at the end of 2014. This has expanded globally in the beginning of this year.
The company used to post games in the past, but now, the company’s whole business is the SDK. However, with this acquisition, Viber can use the expertise to deliver a gaming platform as well.
The SDK is available both for free and premium services. The free service comes with ads from the Nextpeer service and there are two other services available for which you have to pay. The “studio tier” service offers more customization of the UI without any ads. The “enterprise tier” is priced according to the size and usage. The company claims that the games using their technology have been downloaded 196 million times.
The SDK, specifically has more than 8000 users. Popular games which avail this service include the 2048 puzzle game.
A lot of consolidation has been seen in the gaming space is being done, with Gree and Razor being acquired as well. However, it was unclear why Nextpeer decided to sell. One of the issues may have been the money raised by the company, which was a modest $2.9 million as the seed fund. However, it is a bit surprising to see the company being sold so early.
The CEO and co-founder of Nextpeer, Shai Magzimof, had to say about this, “Nextpeer’s vision is to bring social experiences to mobile players. We are teaming up with Viber to help connect players on mobile and deliver a powerful social platform for developers. We are all very excited to join the Viber team.”
With new access to bigger strategic partners and creating a gaming platform for over 200 million users worldwide, Smilov is excited about the opportunities. He added, “The two companies also have a similar passion, with the goal of connecting players on mobile to deliver a powerful social platform for developers.”
Adding features and technology to the gaming business makes a lot of sense for Viber. This will help them expand the functionality of the gaming platform. It increases the quality and the type of services offered to the developers. This, in turn, gives the developers more opportunity to develop the gaming portal of Viber. Ultimately, this is making the developers happier which will, eventually help in giving better gaming services to the uses. This will give the users a newer service apart from the other services like stickers, photos, videos and doodles, which are available to them now, apart from calls, text and videos.
The second advantage for Viber is the increase in revenues. Apart from the in-app purchases offered by Viber, this will make a new sales stream for the company, as the developers who want to use the Nextpeer’s premium service would be willing to pay for it.