TOKYO and SAO PAULO, June 7, 2011 -- Rakuten, Inc. (“Rakuten”, JASDAQ: 4755) today announced that it has closed a transaction to acquire a 75% stake in Ikeda, a leading provider of e-commerce services to many of Brazil’s largest retailers. The acquisition marks another step toward Rakuten’s objective to extend its unique business model, which is focused on empowering merchants and consumers around the world.
Founded in 1996, Ikeda provides retailers with a SaaS (Software as a Service) e-commerce platform, and shares the same empowerment philosophy as Rakuten. Ikeda’s platform enables customers to help build their desired features and provides advisory services to support their online retail operations. Ikeda currently provides services to over 100 major retailers in Brazil including such market leaders as Brasoftware (software), Ri Happy (toys), Viedolar (CD/DVD), Cobasi (pet goods), Etna (furniture) and Le Postiche (luggage and bags).
“Ikeda is a strong player with many excellent merchant relationships,” said Hiroshi Mikitani, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Rakuten. “Together, we will share our expertise, and create a unique and powerful approach for merchants to not only take advantage of the exciting ecommerce market in Brazil, but also to expand their reach worldwide.”
“Rakuten has deep knowledge and a growing global presence that will allow us to take advantage of evolving trends in ecommerce and allow us to grow even faster. Through the addition of Rakuten’s BtoBtoC marketplace business model, we will introduce entirely new ways to help our clients achieve their goals,” said Ricardo Yoiti Ikeda, Founder and CEO of Ikeda.
With 40% of Latin America’s internet users and the largest economy, Brazil is expected to increase its online sales, boosted by the growth of the middle class and consumer technology purchases. E-commerce in Brazil is forecasted to grow at 18% annually, with total sales expected to reach approximately US$22 billion by 2016, a growth rate of 178% over the US$7.9 billion achieved in 2010. (Source: Forrester Research).
The amount of the current investment was not disclosed.
Ikeda is a Sao Paulo based e-commerce specialist with a passion for technology and retail. Ikeda is a pioneer in its segment, having developed Brazil’s first e-commerce model 15 years ago. It was also the first company to implement Web 2.0 concepts into e-commerce. Ikeda’s e-commerce solution is a client-first model that provides the key tools for managing online sales and marketing. The Ikeda team is 100% focused on developing e-commerce solutions and is considered the benchmark in its market segment. Ikeda currently manages e-commerce activities for market leaders such as Ri Happy, Le Postiche, ETNA, Whirlpool Brazil, Cobasi, Panasonic and others.
Rakuten, Inc. (JASDAQ: 4755), is one of the world’s leading Internet service companies, providing a variety of consumer and business-focused services including e-commerce, travel, banking, securities, credit card, e-money, portal & media, online marketing and professional sports. Rakuten is expanding globally and currently has operations throughout Asia, Western Europe and North America. Founded in 1997, Rakuten is headquartered in Tokyo, with over 10,000 employees worldwide. For more information, visit http://global.rakuten.com/group.