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Thursday, May 17, 2012
Rakuten Invests In Pinterest

Rakuten, one of the world's largest online marketplaces, today announced that it is investing $100M in online sharing service Pinterest.

The funding will allow Pinterest to continue improving its service and expanding its community globally. The investment also marks the start of a partnership between Rakuten and Pinterest to help expand in Japan and into Rakuten's 17 other global markets.

Social networking site Pinterest is of Silicon Valley's fastest growing startups. The online scrapbook allows users to "pin" images and follow others.

Hiroshi Mikitani, CEO of Rakuten said: "While some may see e-commerce as a straightforward vending machine-like experience, we believe it is a living process where both retailers and consumers can communicate, discover, and curate to make the experience more entertaining. We see tremendous synergies between Pinterest's vision and Rakuten's model for e-commerce. Rakuten looks forward to introducing Pinterest to the Japanese market as well as other markets around the world."

Ben Silbermann, co-founder and CEO of Pinterest, said: "Our goal is to help people discover things they love, by connecting people through their shared interests. Bringing Rakuten on board gives us an amazing opportunity to move a step closer to this goal."

Rakuten ranks among the top 10 internet companies in the world. Among its numerous online properties, its flagship B2B2C (business-to-business-to-consumer) model e-commerce site Rakuten Ichiba is the largest e-commerce site in Japan and among the world's largest by sales. Its global presence has been reinforced through the acquisitions of online marketplaces Buy.com (US), Priceminister (France), Ikeda (now Rakuten Brasil), Tradoria (now Rakuten Deutschland) and Play.com (UK), and investments in Ozon.ru and AHA Life.

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