Tokyo-based Rakuten Inc, which runs the popular e-commerce platform Rakuten.com across Asia, Europe and America, has expanded to Singapore. The Singapore regional site sells jewellery & accessories, watches, women's clothing, bags & accessories, sports and outdoors, shoes, food, and medicines & nursing care, among other items. Customers will also be eligible for its reward program and redeem loyalty points with each purchase.
The company started setting up the Singapore operations early this year. It organised various startup events and invited developers to create online stores using its API. The development was first reported by Tech In Asia.
Rakuten Group is one of the world's leading internet service companies, providing a variety of consumer and business-focused services including e-commerce, eBooks and e-reading, travel, banking, securities, credit card, e-money, portal and media, online marketing and professional sports. The firm, with more than 10,000 employees worldwide, started looking at markets outside Japan in 2005. It expanded to other markets by acquiring companies including Buy.com (the US), Priceminister (France), Ikeda (Brasil), Tradoria (Deutschland), Play.com (the UK), Wuaki.tv (Spain), and Kobo Inc. (Canada). Last year, the firm led a $100 million investment round in Pinterest.
Currently, Rakuten has operations in Austria, Brazil, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, the UK and the US. It is also looking to expand further in the Asia Pacific region. However, it is not immediately clear if India figures in the list of its expansion plans.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)