July 10, 2015
  • Rakuten, Inc.
  • CLEX Co., Ltd.

Rakuten and CLEX Reach Agreement to Consider
Business Partnership

- Promoting the Joint-Development of a Service Combining
Electricity and LP Gas with Rakuten Super Points -

Tokyo, July 10, 2015 - Rakuten, Inc. and CLEX Co., Ltd. today announced that the two companies have reached a mutual agreement to look into a business partnership regarding sales of electricity for households and companies.

Through the partnership, the two companies plan to look into the joint-development of a new service aimed at CLEX’s LP gas customers, combining electricity and gas with Rakuten Super Points, utilizing basic HEMS*1 (Home Energy Management System). A survey will also be carried out starting this month, advertising for 10,000 household monitors from among current customers of CLEX living in the Kanto region, in order to identify customer needs for the purpose of developing the new service.

Rakuten is working on further expanding the Rakuten Ecosystem, which provides a variety of services, such as e-commerce, with its unique online B2B2C*2 marketplace Rakuten Ichiba, online travel services, finances, e-money, e-books, etc., that are connected by the Rakuten Super Points reward system. In the energy sector, with the full deregulation of electricity retailing in 2016, and the expected full deregulation of gas retailing in 2017, Rakuten has been considering the launching of new services. This led to Rakuten’s search for a partner, and arrival at a conclusion that a major supplier of LP gas that operates over a wide area with many years of experience in supplying energy in a fully deregulated market, and with strong ties to end users, would be the prime candidate for a partnership that would be highly compatible with the Rakuten mission of empowering people and society.

Meanwhile, CLEX, which operates an LP gas retailing business centered on the Kanto, Tohoku, and Hokkaido regions, had made it their top priority in commemorating their 60th anniversary to establish a new business in response to the deregulation of the energy sector. This led them to consider breaking into the electricity retailing market, and in doing so they had been looking for a partner with experience in development new demand utilizing HEMS to further boost customer satisfaction.

The two companies judged that the needs of both companies match and that the joint development of the new service shows promise, which led to the conclusion of the basic agreement.

In response to changes in the market environment triggered by deregulation of electricity and gas retailing, Rakuten and CLEX will strive to differentiate themselves from the competition and go forward with a partnership strategy by providing a unique service that combines CLEX’s customer service centered on supplying and maintaining energy, with Rakuten’s technology, points program, etc. Moreover, through this collaboration, the two companies will strive in pursuit of diversified energy services with added value in electricity and gas, and contribute to the sound development of the competitive market for electricity and gas.

Overview of CLEX Co., Ltd.
Name:                      CLEX Co., Ltd.
Date Founded:       May 1955
Lines of Business:  1. Selling of gas and related equipment
                                   2. Designing, construction, and maintenance of gas supplying facilities
                                   3. Designing, construction, and selling of equipment for air conditioning, water supply and drainage,
                                       and plumbing
                                   4. Real estate leasing
                                   5. Designing, construction, and selling of equipment for various facilities
                                   6. Selling of gasoline, kerosene, and other household fuels
                                   7. All operations pertaining to the execution of the above
Address:                  Chiba City, Chiba Prefecture
Representative:      Kazuichi Ono, President and Representative Director
URL:                        http://www.clex.co.jp/index.html 

*1: HEMS stands for Home Energy Management System. It refers to a system that relies on sensors and IT to manage household energy. It is said to optimize energy consumption mainly by allowing visual confirmation of the status of electricity use and controlling equipment inside the home.

*2: B2B2C stands for Business to Business to Consumer, and it refers to a business model in which Rakuten Ichiba acts as a mediator between companies and consumers.

*Please note that the information contained in press releases is current as of the date of release.

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