Tokyo, June 17, 2019 – Rakuten, Inc., a global leader in internet services headquartered in Tokyo, today announced that its social innovation initiative, Rakuten Social Accelerator, is expanding globally with the launch of the program at its Development and Operations Center in Bengaluru, Rakuten India.
Drawing on the success of the program launched in Japan during 2018, Rakuten India selected three local non-profit organizations, Robin Hood Army, Wildlife SOS and Samarpana Charitable Trust for The Disabled, as inaugural partners for 2019. By working with Rakuten, these partners will be able to make full use of the company’s global portfolio of online services and brand visibility, as well as gain access to industry talent to move their business plans forward at a previously unattainable scale.
“I’m thrilled with the launch of Rakuten Social Accelerator in India,” said Narendra Narayana, Chief Operating Officer, Rakuten India. “Rakuten is built on a philosophy of empowering society and through this program, our aim is to solve crucial social challenges by partnering with entrepreneurs who are passionate about creating tangible impact. I am delighted to welcome Robin Hood Army, Wildlife SOS and Samarpana Charitable Trust as our first partners in India.”
Robin Hood Army comprises of a group of working professionals, students, home makers connected on a common platform that works towards creating awareness around food wastage and eliminating hunger, while Wildlife SOS aims to protect wildlife and conserve habitat by creating alternative and sustainable livelihoods for poacher communities that depend on wildlife for sustenance. Samarpana Charitable Trust for The Disabled (R) Tumakuru works for the visually disabled and aims to empower them to use their talent to live independently.
First launched in Japan during 2018, Rakuten Social Accelerator is a collaboration program that brings together social entrepreneurs, not-for-profit organizations and Rakuten employees, each with a social mission to tackle critical issues facing society today using technologies and business assets.
Over the next 5 months of the program in India, a team of 20 Rakuten employees will volunteer their time and technical expertise to develop comprehensive applications that will help these organizations expand and scale their operations.
Since its founding in 1997, Rakuten has strived to grow its business with its mission to “contribute to society by creating value through innovation and entrepreneurship” based on the philosophy of advancing and enriching society through high-quality services that help its users and partners grow. In its sustainability efforts, Rakuten also promotes various activities both in Japan and abroad to realize a sustainable society based on the shared values of the Rakuten Group.
About Robin Hood Army
Robinhood Army is a group of working professionals, students and home makers connected on a common platform that works towards creating awareness around food wastage and eliminating hunger. The Rakuten team will work with Robin Hood Army to develop a comprehensive application with quick communication tools that will connect donors, beneficiaries, and volunteers (clusters) to effectively avoid wastage and serve food to the needy on time. For more information please visit https://robinhoodarmy.com/
About Wildlife SOS
Wildlife SOS aims to protect wildlife and conserve habitat by creating alternative and sustainable livelihoods for poacher communities. The team of volunteers at Rakuten will work together with Wildlife SOS to scale their operations and connect poacher communities, animal welfare ambassadors, government agencies, all on one platform. For more information please visit https://wildlifesos.org/
About Samarpana Charitable Trust for The Disabled (R) Tumakuru
With an aim to empower the visually disabled to live independently, Samarpana Charitable Trust for The Disabled and Rakuten employees will come together to develop a customized application that will connect the disabled community and showcase their talent to event organizers across the country.
About Rakuten Social Accelerator
Rakuten Social Accelerator launched in Japan in 2018 as part of Rakuten’s social sustainability initiative. The accelerator welcomes social entrepreneurs who are trying to impact society by not just addressing the symptoms of social issues but by ascertaining and fixing their root causes.
Partner organizations collaborate with Rakuten employees and together spend 6 months developing technology-based solutions to further accelerate and scale their businesses. Social entrepreneurs participating in the program benefit from Rakuten’s broad-ranging experience in internet-related services. To read more about the success of Rakuten Social Accelerator, visit https://rakuten.today/blog/rakuten-social-accelerator.html
About Rakuten India
Rakuten India Enterprise Private Limited, established in 2014 in Bengaluru, is a key product research and development center in the Rakuten Group network. It provides ecommerce related engineering and mobile developmental initiatives along with innovative data and insight products for Rakuten’s global ecommerce operations. It also manages Rakuten’s global network and security operations to provide secure global cloud and network infrastructure services.
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/.