Japanese electronic commerce and online retailing company, Rakuten based in Tokyo is in plans to raise funds worth 2.2 billion to enable itself to compete with its U.S. rivals. The company made an announcement last Friday that it will issue 211,656,500 shares at 1,145 Japanese yen ($10.5) per share as a way of raisings money.
There are a few entities like National post service Japan Post which is anticipated to buy 131,004,000 shares for an 8.3% stake, Chinese internet firm Tencent is expected to take 57,382,900 for a 3.6% stake, and U.S. retailer Walmart is expected to take 14,536,000 shares for a 0.9% stake. The payment date will be between Mar. 29 and Apr. 30.
Hiroshi Mikitani, Rakuten’s founder, chairman, and CEO believes that these new investments in Rakuten indicate both high expectations for the growth and impact of the Rakuten ecosystem with the mobile service at its core, as well as great potential for further collaboration with leading companies from the world’s three leading economies.
The company which was founded in 1997, today has more than 70 businesses and a count of 1.4 billion members all over the world. It is one of the largest e-commerce sites in Japan with its marker value at just $16.5 billion which is significantly less than Amazon’s ($1.5 trillion).
Rakuten is also well known for its video streaming service Rakuten TV. Over the last few years, Rakuten has acquired a number of companies including messaging app Viber and e-book platform Kobo. Moreover, this company along with Japan Post are planning to partner and thrive in logistics, mobile, and payments businesses, while there is also the possibility of partnerships with Tencent.
“The new potential for partnering with Tencent opens up a broad portfolio of opportunities, from digital entertainment, including online games, to e-commerce,” said Mikitani in a statement. “We’re also excited to have Walmart’s financial commitment as they continue to invest in the future of retail.”
Tencent shares Rakuten’s aspiration of creating value through innovation and empowerment for users and partners. Tencent platform is not only optimistic to invest in Rakuten, supporting its evolution into a global innovation leader but is also looking forward to pursuing strategic cooperation across activities including digital entertainment and e-commerce, creating value for users and building the Internet ecosystem together.