While the deal is set to be announced next week, AllThingsD writer Kara confirmed the acquisition from Rakuten’s CEO Hiroshi Mikitani.
“Our foundation is not only limited to e-commerce, but an intention to strengthen our ecosystem in Japan and worldwide. We have been looking into finding a global solution for video,” said Hiroshi.
Viki was started in Singapore, and was recently named 2014 Technology Pioneer by the venerable World Economic Forum. To date, Viki’s community of volunteer-fans has subtitled more than 400 million words in less than three years.
Viki makes its money through advertising revenue that it shares with content producers, as well as a subscription model for power users. Its existing investors include Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock Partners, Omidyar Network, Charles River Ventures, 500 Startups and Neoteny Labs.