RAKUTEN INC. is a Japanese electronic commerce and Internet company based in Tokyo and founded in 1997 by Hiroshi Mikitani. Its B2B2C e-commerce platform Rakuten Ichiba is the largest e-commerce site in Japan and among the world's largest by sales.[3] The company operates Japan's biggest Internet bank and number one credit card company by transaction value.[4] It also offers e-commerce, fintech, digital content and communications services to over one billion members around the world, and operates in 29 countries and regions.[5] It is often referred to as "the Amazon of Japan".[6]

In 2005, Rakuten started expanding outside Japan, mainly through acquisitions and joint ventures.[7] Its major acquisitions include Buy.com (now Rakuten.com in the US), PriceMinister (France), Ikeda (now Rakuten Brasil), Tradoria (now Rakuten Deutschland), Play.com (now Rakuten.co.uk in the UK), Wuaki.tv (now Rakuten TV in Spain), Kobo Inc. (now Rakuten Kobo in Canada), Viber (now Rakuten Viber), Ebates, Viki (now Rakuten Viki), OverDrive, Inc. (now Rakuten OverDrive), Slice (now Rakuten Slice) and The Grommet. The company also has an online marketing business, Rakuten Marketing, and has investments in companies such as Pinterest, Ozon.ru, AHA Life, Lyft, Cabify, Careem, Carousell and Acorns.

In 2015, Rakuten relocated its corporate headquarters from Shinagawa to the Tamagawa neighbourhood of Setagaya-ku, to consolidate its Tokyo offices and to accommodate future growth.[8] In 2016, the company's revenues totaled US$7.2 billion with operating profits of about US$347.9 million. As of June 2017, Rakuten reported it had a total of 14,826 employees worldwide.[2]

On 16 November 2016, Rakuten announced a �220 million deal for global sponsorship with Spanish football club FC Barcelona starting in the 2017�2018 La Liga season through 2020, replacing Qatar Airways for this role.[9] Rakuten's Viber will also be the official communication channel of FC Barcelona.[10] In May 2018, Rakuten launched a wireless mobile network in Japan.[11]

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  • 17 May, 2019
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