‘Rakuten’ CEO Hiroshi Mikitani saw his fortune jump by almost $2 billion. As shares from his e-commerce firm Rakuten made a staggering 35 percent climb these past two trading sessions, Mikitani announced on Friday that he will sell new shares to several big-name investors.
The Japanese electronic commerce and online retailing company is based in Tokyo and founded in 1997 by Hiroshi Mikitani. Rakuten is formally known as the popular Ebates, where consumers get cashback for shopping. Although Mikitani’s overall stake will be reduced from 39.3% to 34% after the transaction, his net worth stands at an impressive $8.6 billion, as reported by Forbes.
This investment sets Rakuten up for the pure potential for future big-time collaborations, where they already have three leading economies investing in them. Japan Post is reported to become Rakuten’s second-largest shareholder with an 8.3 percent stake. Gaining a 3.6 percent stake is China’s Tencent and picking up a 0.9 percent stake will be Walmart, which gives the potential to seek out more digital content and e-commerce.
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Last year, Rakuten’s sales rose to 15.2% last year to nearly 1.46 trillion yen ($13.3 billion). This large uptick comes one year after a devastating operating loss of 102.7 billion just one year ago, which was caused by the heavy capital expenditures attributed to the rollout of its base stations for its mobile carrier unit.
“Our operation is much leaner than our competitors, and we can enrich the service using the existing Rakuten ecosystem,” Mikitani stated. He also expressed in his statement that the operation is basically all about “connectivity, speed, price and what kind of extra services we can provide.”
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Rakuten was founded with Shinnosuke Honjo back in 1997. By 2000, the company had annual revenue of $30 million and is described as being a cross between Amazon and eBay. At the forefront of Japan’s internet revolution, Rakuten changed the face of e-commerce. By April 1, the company’s name will be changed to “Rakuten Group.”
This gigantic surge in Rakuten is the most the company has seen in its 18 years and is predicted to only strengthen through its big two investors. The alliance could develop the possibility of the creation of a super-app connecting the real and online worlds where competitiveness at Rakuten is to be expected, according to Yahoo News! $300 million in ride-sharing firm Lyft, an Uber competitor, and Mikitani joined Lyft’s board.
Miktitani invested big time in 2015 by giving $300 million to in ride-sharing firm Lyft and joined Lyft’s board. The self-made billionaire also spent $900 million in 2014 when he bought Facebook’s WhatsApp rival Viber.
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Sources: Yahoo News!, Forbes
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