rakuten

How our SaaS startup broke into the Japanese market without a physical presence

As a SaaS company with a community-led growth model, our journey to breaking into Japan might be different to companies with other models, but the core tenets remain the same. Here's what we learned.

QuEra Computing emerges from stealth with $17M to launch quantum device

QuEra Computing, a Boston-based quantum computer developer, is coming out of stealth mode today with $17 million in funding from Rakuten, Day One Ventures and Frontiers Capital. Angel investors Se

Spotify expands into audiobooks with acquisition of Findaway

In an effort to expand beyond music, Spotify has been investing hundreds of millions to build out its podcasts business. Now the company has set its sights on another form of audio, with today’s

Pinterest gets more TikTok-like with a ‘Watch’ tab for videos, announces $20M in creator rewards

Pinterest has been trying to reposition its business as a home to creators, not just a shopping inspiration site. Today, the company revealed its latest efforts on this front, which include more Snapc

YELA secures $2M to reproduce Cameo’s celebrity success with an app for the Middle East

The Cameo app, where celebrities send video messages to paying fans, has taken off globally. But now the concept is set to come to the Middle East and South Asia. Tech startup YELA has secured $2 mill

KKR, Rakuten to acquire most of Walmart’s stake in Japanese supermarket chain Seiyu

Walmart announced today it will sell most of its shares in Seiyu, the Japanese supermarket chain it acquired 12 years ago, to KKR and Rakuten. The deal values Seiyu at about $1.6 billion and means Wal

Europe urges e-commerce platforms to share data in fight against coronavirus scams

European lawmakers are pressing major e-commerce and media platforms to share more data with each other as a tool to fight rogue traders who are targeting consumers with coronavirus scams. After the p

The new Google TV brings streaming apps, live TV and search into a single interface

Not to be confused with the smart TV platform of the same name (2010-2014, RIP) or the Android TV platform it’s built on top of, Google has just taken the wraps off the new Google TV. The name r

Rakuten is shuttering the online shop formerly known as Buy.com

Japanese conglomerate Rakuten has pulled the plug on its U.S. online retail store, originally known as Buy.com, and will wind down its operations over the next two months, the company confirmed to Tec

Rakuten will not renew its contract with WeWork, says report

Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten has decided not to renew its contract with WeWork when it expires next month, according to a report in The Japan Times. Rakuten had leased about 700 desks in Tokyo, b

Kobo introduces the lackluster Nia to replace its budget Aura e-reader

The e-reader category was exciting once — or at least as exciting as one could hope from such a space. It was a vibrant category, with plenty of key players, each looking to outdo one another. But a

Rakuten acquires Innoeye for its push into 5G and communications services

Rakuten, often referred to as the “Amazon of Japan” with extensive holdings in e-commerce and streaming media, has made an acquisition that will help it build up and flex a newer arm of it

Rakuten Mobile’s low-cost data plan fully launches in Japan

Rakuten Mobile announced the full commercial launch of its low-cost data plan in Japan today. Priced at 2,980 yen (about $27) per month, the plan gives users unlimited calls and data where Rakuten has

Codility raises $22M for its tech recruiting platform

Codility, a platform that helps tech recruiters and hiring managers asses candidates through online coding tests, today announced that it has raised a $22 million Series A round led by Oxx and Kennet

Kobo brings the Forma form factor to a cheaper model

I’ve long had a soft spot for Kobo for a few reasons. First is the simple fact that the company (now part of Rakuten) was one of the last few competing with Amazon in the e-reader market. Second is

Data-driven events discovery and planning startup Fever raises $35 million led by Rakuten

Fever, a startup that uses proprietary algorithms to help companies plan events, announced today that it has raised $35 million led by Rakuten Capital, the investment arm of Japanese internet giant Ra

Glovo faces safety protests after delivery rider killed on the job

Spanish on-demand delivery startup Glovo is facing angry protests from couriers on its platform following the death of a 22-year-old rider on Saturday in Barcelona where the business is headquartered.

Jungle Ventures hits $175M first close on its third fund for Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia’s startup ecosystem is set to get a massive injection of funds after Jungle Ventures reached a first close of $175 million for its newest fund, TechCrunch has come to learn. Execu

Sony launches a taxi-hailing app to rival Uber in Tokyo

Sony last year announced it would enter Japan’s taxi-hailing space and, good to its word, the electronics giant has kicked off its S.Ride service in Tokyo. The service — which was first no

CleverTap lands $26M for its mobile-focused customer marketing service

CleverTap, an India-based startup that lets companies track and improve engagement with users across the web, has pulled in $26 million in new funding thanks to a round led by Sequoia India. Existing
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