Rakuten, Inc. (楽天株式会社 Rakuten Kabushiki-gaisha) (Japanese pronunciation: [ɾakɯten]) is a Japanese electronic commerce and Internet company based in Tokyo and founded in 1997 by Hiroshi Mikitani. Its B2B2C e-commerce platform Rakuten Ichiba is the largest e-commerce site in Japan and among the world’s largest by sales. The company operates Japan's biggest Internet bank and third-largest credit card company (by transaction value). It also offers e-commerce, fintech, digital content and communications services to over 1 billion members around the world, and operates in 29 countries and regions. It is often referred to as "the Amazon of Japan".
In 2005, Rakuten started expanding outside Japan, mainly through acquisitions and joint ventures. Its major acquisitions include Buy.com (now Rakuten.com in the US), PriceMinister (France), Ikeda (now Rakuten Brasil), Tradoria (now Rakuten Deutschland), Play.com (now Rakuten.co.uk in the UK), Wuaki.tv (now Rakuten TV in Spain), Kobo Inc. (now Rakuten Kobo in Canada), Viber (now Rakuten Viber), Ebates, Viki (now Rakuten Viki), OverDrive, Inc. (now Rakuten OverDrive), Slice (now Rakuten Slice) and The Grommet. The company also has an online marketing business, Rakuten Marketing, and has investments in companies such as Pinterest, Ozon.ru, AHA Life, Lyft, Cabify, Careem, Carousell and Acorns.