Open main menu

Viki is an American video streaming website headquartered in San Mateo, California.[1] The company also has offices in Singapore, Tokyo, Japan, and Seoul, South Korea.[2]

Rakuten Viki
IndustryOnline streaming video
FounderRazmig Hovaghimian
Changseong Ho
Jiwon Moon
Area served
ProductsInternet television
ServicesCrowdsourced subtitles
Number of employees
> 100

The name Viki is a play on the words video and Wiki, drawing similarities to those companies' use of volunteers for content management.[citation needed] The company won the Crunchie award for best international start-up company in January 2011.[3]



Razmig Hovaghimian, Changseong Ho and Jiwon Moon founded Viki in 2007.[4] Funding for the company originally came from Neoteny Labs, a Singapore start-up fund headed by Joichi Ito, and from the co-founder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman.[5] The company moved to Singapore in 2008 to take advantage of generous government backing and the city-state’s role as a pan-Asian hub.[6] In December 2010, Viki exited the beta phase of its software and made its services available to the general public.[4] In September 2013 it was reported that the company was being acquired by the Japanese company Rakuten for $200 million.[7]


Viki streams premium licensed content in a similar way that Hulu does in U.S. markets.[1] The site then puts the content on one of its channels, and the content can be subtitled by community volunteers.[8] Viki was the first[according to whom?] platform for real-time subtitling and sharing of videos of all content types.[citation needed]. Community members can subtitle their favorite videos in their preferred languages, under a Creative Commons license using Viki's subtitling technology, enabling individuals to collaborate globally, in dozens of languages at once.[9] The subtitling software developed for the company allows many volunteers to translate a video concurrently in up to 160 languages.[1] Viki also syndicates its shows with fan-generated subtitles to partners such as Hulu, Netflix, and Yahoo!, and receives fees and revenue from those distributors.[10] Of the approximately 200 language subtitles available on the site, roughly 50 of these are vulnerable or endangered languages.[11]


In September 2011, Viki debuted a new iPhone app called Viki On-The-Go, allowing users to watch content on their smartphones. The company also partnered with Samsung Southeast Asia that year to develop an Android app.[12][13] drew 14 million unique views in August 2011. Viki raised $20 million from Greylock Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, and BBC Worldwide in October of that year.[5][6][13]

In May 2012, Viki announced deals with Warner Music, SEED Music Group of Taiwan, and LOEN Entertainment of South Korea, bringing thousands of music videos to the site.[14] In that same month, BBC Worldwide announced an extension of its relationship with Viki, including a deal to work with the company on advertising.[12]

In July 2012, Viki inked a non-exclusive deal with the Chinese social network Renren, in which Viki would provide a video site for the social network called VikiZone.[13] The deal includes only a portion of the Viki catalog and is offered for free.[15]

In the year following its acquisition by Rakuten (September 2013),[7] Viki went from about 22 million monthly active users with 10 million on mobile to 35 million monthly active users and 25 million mobile users.[16]

The company has a list of partners for sourcing original content, including BBC Worldwide. The company has also signed distribution deals for its original content with Hulu, Netflix, Yahoo!, MSN, NBC, and A&E, as well as TVB in Hong Kong, SBS in South Korea, Fuji TV in Japan and Amedia in Russia.[12]


  1. ^ a b c Holmes, Sam (2011). "Singapore Start-up Sees Gold Mine In Foreign Language TV". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 25, 2013.
  2. ^ Viki Office Tour - Coolest Places in Singapore: Episode 1 (January 28). 2014. Retrieved December 3, 2015 – via YouTube.
  3. ^ Rao, Leena (2011). "Congratulations Crunchies Winners! Twitter Takes Best Startup of 2010". TechCrunch. Retrieved January 25, 2013.
  4. ^ a b Bertschy, Zac (2012). "Interview: Razmig Hovaghimian, Cofounder and CEO of". Anime News Network. Retrieved January 25, 2013.
  5. ^ a b Holmes, Sam (2012). "Breaking Down Language Barriers - WSJ". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
  6. ^ a b Lacy, Sarah (2010). "ViKi Raises $4.3 Million from VC All-Stars to Translate the World's Video". TechCrunch. Retrieved January 25, 2013.
  7. ^ a b Swisher, Kara (2013). "Exclusive: Japan's Rakuten Acquires Viki Video Site for $200 Million". AllThingsD. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
  8. ^ "Rakuten Viki". Retrieved June 1, 2019.
  9. ^ "Rakuten Viki Terms of Use Section 8.3.2". Retrieved June 1, 2019.
  10. ^ Bates, Greg (2012). "Viki Video: 1 Billion Videos in 150 languages Means Never Having to Say Rerun". Programmable Web. Retrieved January 25, 2013.
  11. ^ Park, Madison (2014). "Can Fans Unravel the Babel of the World's Dramas?". CNN. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
  12. ^ a b c Rao, Leena (2011). "International Video Site ViKi Debuts iPhone App, Will Partner With Samsung For Android App". TechCrunch. Retrieved January 25, 2013.
  13. ^ a b c Boyd, E.B. (2012). "Boom Tube: How Viki Is Creating The Global Hulu". Fast Company. Retrieved January 25, 2013.
  14. ^ Russell, Jon (2012). "Global Music Site Viki Moves into Music After Signing up Record Labels". The Next Web. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
  15. ^ Lunden, Ingrid (2012). "Viki Climbs The Great Firewall, Signs With 'China's Facebook' Renren For Its First Video Distribution Deal In The Country". TechCrunch. Retrieved January 25, 2013.
  16. ^ Corbin, David (2015). "Razming Hovaghimian, founder of Viki, out as CEO, to lead Rakuten's global video strategy". Tech in Asia. Retrieved December 3, 2015.

External linksEdit