Rakuten Marketing today (February 25) announced the acquisition of product-intelligence company Manifest Commerce, strengthening its retail clients’ potential for social advertising and ad optimisation.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the purchase of San Francisco-based Manifest allows Rakuten Marketing to ramp up performance of product ads across social networks, such as Facebook and Instagram.

The group also claims that integrating the acquired company’s product discovery and optimisation will have “broad applications” to improve ad performance and ROI across its omnichannel offering.

New strings

While the marketing arm of Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten has continued to diversify its technology in recent years - developing solutions in display, search and affiliate – social advertising has yet to feature heavily among its services.

While marketing investment into social continues to grow rapidly, the role of consumer behaviour and insights within the purchase journey is “still in its infancy” says the acquiring firm’s CEO, Tony Zito.

“As this acquisition shows, Rakuten Marketing is at the forefront of dynamic ad technology and committed to offering native solutions that maximise performance for our customers.”

Zito adds that the merger puts Rakuten Marketing in prime position to seize “huge opportunities” on the table in product intelligence and optimisation.


With its latest purchase, Rakuten Marketing has made an investment into programmatic in a period where methods of buying through the channel have become increasingly segmented.

The acquisition of Manifest’s API-based technology means Rakuten Marketing is now able to advertise across both types programmatic inventory – increasingly segmented between API and DSP.

In Q1 last year, it acquired the latter with the purchase of Deep Forest Media, a Silicon Valley mobile marketing solutions company.