TOKYO, November 22, 2013 – Rakuten, Inc. today announced that the demand response service currently offered by Rakuten Energy will begin promoting a solution for the home using smartphones. A new service will be developed for this demand response system for the home, through a partnership with Rakuten’s wholly-owned subsidiary Spotlight Inc., which offers the Smapo app for smartphones that awards app users redeemable points in exchange for visiting participating merchant stores. Going forward, this new service will be provided to high-voltage power receiving companies serving condominiums, and power producer suppliers (PPS).
Smapo is a free app in which users automatically receive redeemable coupons and points at the stores they visit, simply by checking in during their visit after installing the app on their smartphone and registering for the service. Rakuten Energy decided to partner with Spotlight on this occasion because of the potential Smapo offers for adding value to demand response services for users who are away from home. At the same time, this can help reduce costs related to demand response services.
Rakuten Energy will work jointly with Spotlight to develop a platform for effectively implementing and popularizing this demand response service for the home. It will include special incentives and perks different from the normal benefits Smapo users receive, for those Smapo users that participate in the demand response service. This will help to reduce electricity costs through the demand response service for the home, and promote the development of new services using smart meters, making it possible to propose solutions to household users.
Rakuten launched Rakuten Solar in July 2012, and since then it has been providing solar power generation systems, storage batteries, and power stations for EV as well as membership services through the Taiyo Mileage Club to households in Japan. In June 2013, Rakuten reorganized its energy businesses into Rakuten Energy, and began promoting the digital energy business, including demand response services for companies compliant with OpenADR. From the perspective of combining IT and energy, Rakuten is committed to developing new value-added energy services for the home that are cost competitive and leverage the synergies of the Rakuten Group, starting with this new demand response service for the home using smartphones.
Overview of the Smapo Redeemable Point Service
App name: Smapo
Available at: App Store or Google Play
Point exchange rate: One point equivalent to one yen
How to install Smapo: https://www.smapo.jp/redirect/
Compatible devices: Android OS mobile phones and iPhone 3GS and newer models
*Smapo may not be available for all handsets
*iPhone and iOS are trademarks of Apple Inc.
■Advantages of Smapo: Benefits for the users
Users of Smapo, a free smartphone app, receive redeemable points simply by walking into a Smapo merchant store, and tapping the checking-in button on the app, regardless of their purchase. Users can redeem points and receive a variety of benefits, as accumulated points can be redeemed for gift certificates or meal vouchers issued by participating merchants, or can be used to charge another point card or exchanged with various privileges. Another benefit for users is that they can even receive points regardless of their purchase when visiting a Smapo store that they would not usually shop at. Smapo has been highly regarded for its unique design of mechanism; it won the 2013 Good Design Award as the first point program to win the Award.
Name: Spotlight Inc.
Established: May 2011
Business description: Development and operation of next-generation sales promotion services for physical stores using smartphones
Office address: 36-6 Utagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Representative: Representative Director Yo Shibata