TOKYO, March 12, 2015 – Rakuten, Inc. (TOKYO: 4755), today announced that it has agreed to purchase a 11.9% stake in Lyft, the San Francisco-based ride-sharing service provider and sharing economy pioneer. Rakuten is investing $300M as the lead investor in Lyft’s series E investment round.
Hiroshi Mikitani, founder and CEO of Rakuten said: “We have seen the future and this is it. By empowering human connection, the sharing economy is going to fundamentally transform the service industry and benefit society. We believe businesses like Lyft that unlock the latent potential that exists in people and society hold the key to the future.”
John Zimmer, co-founder and President of Lyft, said: “With this new investment, we are closer than ever before to realizing our vision of re-connecting people and communities through better transportation.”
The funding will allow Lyft to continue growing its service and invest in both domestic and overseas expansion. Through this investment, Rakuten aims to empower one of the leaders in the sharing economy and pioneers in the rapidly expanding ride-sharing service industry.
Rakuten, Inc. (4755:Tokyo), is one of the world's leading Internet services companies. We provide a variety of products and services for consumers and businesses, with a focus on e-commerce, finance, and digital content. Since 2012, Rakuten has been ranked among the world’s ‘Top 20 Most Innovative Companies’ in Forbes magazine’s annual list. Rakuten is expanding worldwide and currently operates throughout Asia, Europe, the Americas and Oceania. Founded in 1997, Rakuten is headquartered in Tokyo, with over 14,000 employees and partner staff worldwide.
For more information: http://global.rakuten.com/corp/.