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Amazon in Japan: Rakuten, Inc. (RKUNY) (1997 – )

Rakuten (Rakuten Co., Ltd.) Rakuten, Inc. (OTC PINK:RKUNY, TYO:4755) was established in 1997, formerly known as MDM, Inc., changed its current name in June 1999, headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, full-time employees 20,053 people, is a company that provides Internet online services in Japan, America, Europe, other parts of Asia and internationally.

Rakuten

Rakuten, Inc. (RKUNY):

Rakuten, Inc. is a Japanese e-commerce and online retail company based in Tokyo. It was founded in 1997 by Japanese businessman Hiroshi Mikitani. Its B2M e-commerce platform Rakuten Ichiba is Japan’s largest e-commerce website. Rakuten operates the largest Internet bank in Japan and ranks first in transaction volume. It also provides e-commerce, financial technology, digital content and communication services to more than 1 billion members worldwide, and operates in 29 countries and regions. It is often referred to as “the Amazon of Japan”.

Beginning in 2005, Rakuten began to expand outside of Japan mainly through acquisitions and joint ventures, including: its major acquisitions include Buy.com (now Rakuten.com in the US), Priceminister (France, now Rakuten.fr), Ikeda, Tradoria, Play.com, Wuaki.tv, Kobo, Viber, Ebates, Viki, Slice and The Grommet. Rakuten also owns online marketing business Rakuten Marketing, and has invested in companies such as Pinterest , Ozon.ru, AHA Life, Lyft , Cabify, Careem, Carousell, and Acorns.

In 2015, Lotte moved its corporate headquarters from Shinagawa Ward to Tamagawa Ward, Setagaya to consolidate its Tokyo office and adapt to future growth. In 2016, the company’s total revenue was US$7.2 billion and operating profit was approximately US$347.9 million. As of June 2017, Rakuten reported that it had 14,826 employees worldwide.

On November 16, 2016, Lotte announced that it has reached a global sponsorship agreement with the Spanish Football Club of Barcelona, ​​amounting to 220 million euros, starting from the 2017-2018 La Liga season to 2020 to replace Qatar Airways. Rakuten’s application Viber will also become the club’s official communication channel. In May 2018, Rakuten announced a new wireless mobile network in Japan.

Lotte is divided into three parts of operation: Internet Services, FinTech and Mobile.

  1. Internet Services —— Operates various e-commerce websites, including Internet mall Rakuten Ichiba; Rakuten Travel, an online travel and booking website; Rakuten Rewards (formerly Ebates), a member-based online cashback website; online brand fashion store Rakuten Fashion; Rakuten Books, online book, CD and DVD shops; Rakuten 24, daily necessities sales service; Rakuten Seiyu Netsuper, online grocery delivery service; Rakuten Bic, an electronic goods e-commerce site; Rakuten Rebates, a rebate service (acquired the original ebates.com ); Rakuma, a C2C mobile e-commerce application; Rakuten Super Logistics, distribution and fulfillment services; Rakuten Drone, drone/UGV delivery services; online golf course booking Rakuten Gora; and Rakuten Marketing. The department also provides investment services, such as Rakuten Capita; e-book services, including Rakuten Kobo, and management of professional sports teams, such as Rakuten Eagles and Vissel Kobe.
  2. FinTech-provides Rakuten Card services; payment services, including Rakuten Pay; and asset-based financial services, such as Rakuten Bank, Rakuten Securities, Rakuten Life and General Insurance General Insurance).
  3. Mobile—provides Rakuten Mobile—provides mobile virtual network operator services; Rakuten Viber, provides messaging and VoIP services; Rakuten Communications (Rakuten Communications); Rakuten Energy, provides services related to electricity and energy Services and solutions.
  4. In addition, Rakuten also provides Rakuten Farm, an agricultural service that provides organic produce, and operates an online organic produce store.

Rakuten, Inc. (RKUNY) History:

  • In February 1997, Hiroshi Mikitani founded Lotte Corporation. In May of the same year, Lotte Market was opened, initially with 13 stores.
  • In 2000, Lotte increased its reputation through public offerings and mergers and acquisitions of other companies.
  • In 2004, Lotte established Tohoku Lotte Golden Eagle and joined the Japanese baseball organization.
  • In November 2007, Lotte Co., Ltd. signed a joint venture with Uni-President Enterprise Group in Taipei, Taiwan to establish a joint venture Taiwan Lotte Market (Lotte Co., Ltd. holds 51% and Uni-President Supermarket holds 49%). It officially started operations in May 2008, Taiwan It is the first overseas expansion point of Rakuten Market.
  • Around 2011, Rakuten began large-scale expansion outside of Japan, and took some major moves, including the acquisition of Canadian e-book manufacturer Kobo Inc. and an investment in Pinterest.
  • In 2011, Rakuten launched Rakuten Belanja Online in Indonesia.
  • In January 2012, Lotte Corporation acquired Kobo.
  • By the second half of 2012, Rakuten had officially entered the online retail markets in Austria, Canada, Spain, Taiwan and Thailand, and with its Rakuten Travel platform entered France (via Voyager Moins Cher.com), Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea The online travel market of other countries and regions.
  • In June 2013, Lotte Co., Ltd., which originally held 51% of the shares, will purchase 49% of the shares held by Uni-President Enterprise Group. This equity transaction is expected to be completed before the end of June.
  • In December 2013, Lotte Corporation was listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
  • In March 2014, Lotte Corporation acquired Viber for US$900 million.
  • In March 2015, Rakuten announced that soon after investing in San Francisco-based Bitcoin payment processing startup Bitnet Technologies, it would begin accepting Bitcoin in the global market. Rakuten has always been a strong supporter of Bitcoin’s potential and was one of the first major companies to accept Bitcoin payments.
  • In August 2015, Lotte Corporation announced that its headquarters will be relocated to Rakuten Crimson House in Setagaya-ku, Tokyo to engage in banking.
  • On November 16, 2016, Lotte announced that it has reached a four-year partnership with La Liga football club FC Barcelona. FC Barcelona is one of the most successful football teams in Europe.
  • In 2016, Rakuten closed its retail websites in the UK, Spain, Austria, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia.
  • In April 2017, Rakuten cooperated with California-based Blackstorm Labs to launch an online social gaming platform called R Games, which includes 15 free games optimized for smartphones such as Pac-Man and Space Invaders.
  • In September 2017, Rakuten signed a three-year agreement worth 60 million U.S. dollars to become the official sponsor of the front of the NBA Golden State Warriors team jersey.
  • In September 2016, Lotte Corporation launched Lotte Kobo e-book service in Taiwan.
  • At the end of 2017, Lotte Co., Ltd. sold its Ebates China station business to 55 Haitao. On February 1, 2018, Ebates China station officially announced that it was fully acquired.
  • In January 2018, Lotte Corporation spent 45 billion yen to acquire Asahi Fire & Marine Insurance, a subsidiary of Nomura Holdings . In July, it changed its name to Lotte Damage Insurance Co., Ltd.
  • At the end of January 2018, Rakuten cooperated with Walmart to launch e-books.
  • In September 2019, Lotte Co., Ltd. acquired the Chinese professional baseball team Lamigo Monkeys (Lamigo Monkeys). Through this transaction, Lotte became the first foreign company to own a Chinese professional baseball league team. The terms of the sale were not disclosed. The name of the team was officially changed to “Rakuten Monkeys” on December 17, 2019. A new uniform with a design similar to the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles was released.

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