[b]Rakuten is a Japanese e-commerce and online retail company that operates globally, offering a wide range of services, including online shopping, banking, credit card services, travel bookings, and more. It was founded in 1997 by Hiroshi Mikitani and has since grown to become one of the largest e-commerce companies in the world, with a presence in more than 29 countries and regions.[/b]
The company's main focus is on e-commerce, and it operates several online marketplaces, including Rakuten Ichiba, the largest e-commerce site in Japan, and Rakuten Global Market, which offers products from around the world to customers in Japan. Rakuten also offers its own brand of products and services, such as Rakuten Mobile, a mobile network operator, and Rakuten Kobo, an e-book platform.
Rakuten has also expanded into other areas, such as finance and banking, with the launch of Rakuten Bank in 2000 and Rakuten Securities in 2004. In 2016, it acquired the US-based cashback platform Ebates, which it later rebranded as Rakuten Rewards.
One of the unique aspects of Rakuten's business model is its loyalty program, called Rakuten Super Points. Customers can earn points when they make purchases on Rakuten's platform, which can be used to get discounts on future purchases. Rakuten Super Points can also be earned by using Rakuten's other services, such as its mobile network or credit card.
In recent years, Rakuten has also made significant investments in technology, particularly in the area of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. It has established several research and development centers around the world, including in the US, Israel, and Singapore, to focus on AI and other cutting-edge technologies.
Overall, Rakuten is a diversified company that operates in a wide range of industries, but with a focus on e-commerce. Its emphasis on customer loyalty through its Super Points program, as well as its investments in technology, have helped it to become a major player in the global e-commerce landscape.