July 11, 2018
  • Rakuten, Inc.
  • Rakuten Communications Corp
  • R Software, Inc.

Rakuten Signs Exclusive Strategic Partnership with RapidAPI to Launch an API Marketplace for Japan and Asia Pacific

Tokyo, July 11, 2018 - Rakuten, Inc. today announced that it has signed an exclusive strategic partnership with San Francisco-based startup RapidAPI, operated by R Software Inc., to launch a new API (Application Program Interface) marketplace service called Rakuten RapidAPI. The API marketplace, launching today, will provide software developers in Japan and Asia unified access to over 8,000 APIs with localized documentation and resources in Japanese and English.

Under the agreement, Rakuten and RapidAPI will leverage their unique strengths to provide an API marketplace platform to connect API providers and developers. Developers in Japan and across Asia will be able to find, test, and connect to thousands of APIs for their applications. The marketplace will also allow API providers to connect with the global developer community through personalized API portals.

Rakuten will provide the knowledge and know-how it has developed from its marketplace business along with technical support while RapidAPI will share its core technology and infrastructure platform. Rakuten Communications Corp., a subsidiary of Rakuten, will be responsible for market development across the Asia Pacific region.

“Contributing to society by creating value through innovation and entrepreneurship is at the core of everything we do at Rakuten," said Yasufumi Hirai, Group Executive Vice President of Rakuten, Inc. and Chairman and CEO of Rakuten Communications. "We are immensely impressed by what RapidAPI has achieved in just a few years. I believe our strategic alliance will play an important role advancing the vibrant technology innovation culture in Japan and across Asia.”

RapidAPI is a global API marketplace leader that provides a rich lineup of over 8,000 APIs that are used by more than half a million developers worldwide. The marketplace processes over 400 billion API calls a month to popular services offered by companies such as Microsoft and Nexmo.

“APIs have enabled developers all over the world to create transformative applications faster. However, due to language and cultural barriers, developers in Japan have lagged behind,” said Iddo Gino, Founder and CEO of RapidAPI. “By creating a platform with localized API documentation and local support, we can solve this.”

The Asia Pacific region is home to 8 million professional software developers, according to a survey conducted by popular developer website Stack Overflow*. From these developers, 360,000 are found in Japan, 3.5 million in India and 250,000 in South Korea.

In recent years, enterprises and governments alike have embraced open APIs in order to generate new revenue streams using data assets. This, along with the rise of native API companies, has served as a growth catalyst for the API economy and has resulted in rapid growth of new business opportunities and services. There is also a growing regulatory trend towards data sharing. For instance, Japan's revised Banking Act enacted on June 1, 2018 requires financial institutions to undertake efforts to make available APIs with external businesses, ushering in new era for the Fintech industry.

In launching the Rakuten RapidAPI marketplace service, Rakuten, RapidAPI and Rakuten Communications aim to promote the expansion of the API economy across the Asia Pacific Region and accelerate its leadership position as the world's largest API Marketplace.



Features of the Rakuten RapidAPI Marketplace

1. World-class API selection and rapidly growing developer base
The Rakuten RapidAPI API marketplace hosts an ever-growing selection of more than 8,000 APIs that are used by more than half a million developers across the world. In addition, the marketplace platform allows API providers to connect with a global developer community through personalized API portals and tailored pricing structures, which can greatly reduce the time and cost required for promoting and selling APIs.

2. Single interface from discovery to billing
Rakuten RapidAPI provides developers and API providers with tools and management dashboards to centrally manage API promotion, usage, testing and configuration, performance, documentation and billing. The platform also processes all billing transactions between API providers and software developers.

3. Expansion of marketplace for other Asian countries
The Rakuten RapidAPI marketplace is available in Japanese and English and has customizations for Yen-based pricing. Rakuten RapidAPI plans to expand throughout the Asia region in the near future.


Diagram of the Rakuten RapidAPI business model

Service outline
Name: Rakuten RapidAPI
Launch date: July 11, 2018
Description: API marketplace for developers
Service URL: https://api.rakuten.co.jp/en  
Languages: Japanese, English

 About RapidAPI
RapidAPI is the world’s largest API marketplace used by over 500,000 developers around the world. Through RapidAPI, developers can find and connect to over 8,000 APIs across all verticals, including telecommunications, location data, machine learning and more. RapidAPI’s customers include companies like Cisco, Hyatt, Twilio, Harvard University, the US Government and more. RapidAPI was founded in 2016 by Iddo Gino, and raised $12.5M to date in 2 funding rounds led by Andreessen Horowitz. RapidAPI’s headquarters are in San Francisco (CA), and its R&D office is in Tel Aviv (Israel).

 About Rakuten Communications
Rakuten Communications, subsidiary of global innovation leader Rakuten, Inc., is an Information and Communications Technology company that strives to create new value for a digital society. In addition to existing fixed-line communication services including IP phone, Myline and internet connection services, the company offers mobile and cloud solutions to position its customers for a digital future. Rakuten Communications Corp. aims to expand by development of the potential of the IP platform, across voice, data, media and applications.
For more information: https://comm.rakuten.co.jp/english/company/


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

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