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.