INside Performance Marketing
They own Buy.com, LinkShare, and Play.com - but who are Rakuten?

They own Buy.com, LinkShare, and Play.com - but who are Rakuten?

Having acquired LinkShare in 2005, Rakuten have today announced that the Affiliate Marketing Network, currently operating across three continents, will now been known as Rakuten LinkShare, as the large global brand aims to increase the awareness of the Rakuten brand around the World as a leader in internet services that includes e-commerce and online marketing.

“The new Rakuten LinkShare logo marks an important milestone in the evolution of the LinkShare brand,” said Yaz Iida, president and CEO of LinkShare. “As Rakuten expands its global presence, the LinkShare platform will continue to drive results and create new opportunities for advertisers and publishers through increased market reach and additional services.”

Who are Rakuten?

In line with raising global awareness of the Rakuten brand, and to understand what presence they already have within Affiliate Marketing, here's an overview of the Japanese-centered global company, Rakuten.

  • Founded in February 1997
  • Launches first operation, the "Rakuten Ichiba" internet shopping mall
  • Goes public through an IPO on the JASDAQ market
  • December 2000 - Rakuten acquires Infoseek Japan K.K - a portal service
  • September 2003 - Rakuten acquires MyTrip.net to spearhead operations in the Travel Market
  • September 2005 - Rakuten acquires LinkShare Corporation
  • December 2005 - Rakuten Auction Inc. is founded in a joint venture with NTT DOCOMO Inc.
  • July 2006 - Rakuten, Inc. and All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd. (ANA) establish Rakuten ANA Travel Online Co., Ltd.
  • November 2009 - A capital alliance agreement is signed with bitWallet, Inc.
  • May 2010 - Rakuten, Inc. announced the acquisition of Buy.com, a leading U.S. online retail marketplace
  • June 2010 - Rakuten, Inc. announced the acquisition of PriceMinister S.A., the most visited e-commerce site in France September 2011 - Rakuten acquires Play.com for £25 million

This isn't forgetting the 'online shopping malls' of Rakuten Ichiba Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand, plus Rakuten Baseball Inc, Rakuten Securities, and quite a lot more!

Rakuten & Affiliate Marketing

Having acquired LinkShare, buy.com and play.com, PriceMinister (a french e-commerce) site, travel hotel and online reservation company MyTrip.net plus establishing Travel Online Co, there has reportedly been around $600 million dollars of investment by Rakuten to the e-commerce and online world.

We say here at A4u, watch this space!

Continue the conversation

Got a question or comment – tweet Chris chrisjohnski or comment on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIN.

Chris Johnson

Chris Johnson

Content Director for PerformanceIN. Based in Bristol & London.

Read more from Chris

Related Articles

Join over 10,000 performance marketers for the ultimate weekly update on industry news