January 24, 2019
  • Rakuten, Inc.
  • Techstars

Rakuten and Techstars Invite International Startups for the 2019 Rakuten Accelerator Program in Singapore

Ambitious startups to create innovative solutions and explore global business opportunities by utilizing Rakuten’s communications, digital commerce and data marketing services.

Tokyo, January 24, 2019 – Rakuten, Inc., a global leader in internet services, and Techstars, the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, announced today that the Rakuten Accelerator Program, powered by Techstars, is inviting international startups to apply for the 2019 program.

The theme for the second year of the program is “Future of Communication, Digital Commerce and Data Marketing” and will provide innovative startup companies from around the world a chance to accelerate their innovation and explore global business opportunities.

The three-month mentorship-driven program will be hosted in Singapore and include initial funding and immersive mentorship from top executives and leaders across Techstars network and Rakuten’s e-commerce, fintech, digital content, communications, and research and development teams and access to resources across Rakuten’s ecosystem of more than 70 services.

“Rakuten aims to accelerate innovation in each of its key businesses through partnerships with startups across the globe,” said Hiroshi Takasawa, president of Rakuten’s Investment & Incubation Company and head of the Rakuten Asia Regional Head Office. “We have broadened the scope of the program for 2019 to include new and exciting fields connected to the growth of the Rakuten ecosystem, such as our mobile network launch and data marketing.”

“After seeing great success with the Rakuten Accelerator, Powered by Techstars in 2018, we’re thrilled to be opening applications for year two of the program,” said David Brown, Techstars Founder and Co-CEO. “We’re excited to continue to expand our presence in the Asia Pacific by further leveraging Rakuten’s global ecosystem of services and its membership platforms, and look forward to welcoming more driven and promising entrepreneurs into our global network.”

Areas considered for the program include:
・Mobile Network Operator related technologies
・Messaging app related services and technologies, including enterprise chat solutions, group messaging, social commerce and social digital marketing
・Digital commerce, including O2O commerce, open e-commerce, live-streaming commerce, video marketing and digital payment solutions
・Delivery and logistics solutions, including delivery route planning, demand forecasting, inventory location optimization and FC productivity improvement solutions
・Digital media, including livestreaming content and technology, and viewer engagement
・Ad tech solutions for offline purchasing, TV-related ad tech, retail technology and digital signage
・New technology solutions, including robotics, IoT, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Deep Learning and AI, and Robotic Process Automation

Applications for the Rakuten Accelerator are open until April 7, 2019 and the program kicks off in July 2019. Startups will be invited to Singapore, the location of Rakuten’s Asia Regional Head Office, for the three-month intensive program. The program will conclude with a Demo Day in October where each startup will have the opportunity to showcase their businesses and meet industry leaders and investors from around the world.

About Techstars
Techstars is the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. Techstars founders and their teams connect with other entrepreneurs, experts, mentors, alumni, investors, community leaders, and corporate partners who will help their companies grow. Techstars operates three divisions: Techstars Startup Programs, Techstars Mentorship-Driven Accelerator Programs and Techstars Corporate Innovation Partnerships. Techstars Mentorship-Driven Accelerator Programs help founders do more faster and Techstars Startup Programs inspire, educate and connect entrepreneurs. Techstars Corporate Innovation Partnerships helps brands supercharge growth by accelerating innovation and cultural transformation. Techstars accelerator portfolio includes more than 1,600 companies with a market cap of $16 Billion. www.techstars.com

About Rakuten
Rakuten, Inc. (TSE: 4755) is a global leader in internet services that empower individuals, communities, businesses and society. Founded in Tokyo in 1997 as an online marketplace, Rakuten has expanded to offer services in e-commerce, fintech, digital content and communications to more than 1.2 billion members around the world. The Rakuten Group has over 17,000 employees, and operations in 30 countries and regions. For more information visit https://global.rakuten.com/corp/.

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

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