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.