rakuten

Rakuten’s Viber chat app plans to charge to operate chatbots in controversial move

Viber, the messaging app owned by Japanese e-commerce firm Rakuten, is poised to implement a controversial new strategy that will see it charge companies that run chatbots on its platform. The convent

JD.com’s drones take flight to Japan in partnership with Rakuten

Chinese e-commerce company JD.com is taking its drone delivery system to Japan. Rakuten, the Japanese e-commerce giant, just announced a partnership with JD that will see its drones and unmanned vehic

Walmart partners with Rakuten to open its first e-commerce store in Japan

Walmart is continuing its strategy of revamping its businesses in Asia after the U.S. retail giant opened its first e-commerce store in Japan, where it is working with local retail giant Rakuten. The

Rakuten has SoftBank in its sights

This week, I’ve tried to do something new at TechCrunch with this experimental column — getting obsessed about a topic broadly in tech and writing a continuous stream of thoughts and analysis abou

Envoy raises $43 million to digitize your office

The office might not seem like an area in desperate need of disruption, but Envoy — a Silicon Valley company used to sign in over 100,000 visitors at offices across the world each day; and a Tec

Walmart and Kobo launch Walmart eBooks, an online e-book and audiobook store

In January, Walmart partnered with Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten on online grocery in Japan, as well as the sale of audiobooks, e-books, and e-readers in the U.S. Today, Walmart is capitalizing on

Robotics-as-a-service is on the way and inVia Robotics is leading the charge

The team at inVia Robotics didn’t start out looking to build a business that would create a new kind of model for selling robotics to the masses, but that may be exactly what they’ve done.

SoftBank’s move into new services continues with plan for a payment service in Japan

SoftBank is best known in Japan as a mobile operator but the company, which is behind the near-$100 billion Vision Fund, is increasingly getting into other types of consumer services in its homeland.

Glovo gets $134M to beef up its on-demand delivery business

Spanish startup Glovo, whose platform lets app users summon a gig economy worker to shop on their behalf, be it for a takeaway burger or a multi-bag supermarket shop, has bagged a €115 million (~$13

Spain’s Cabify ‘categorically denies’ that it is in negotiations for a full or partial sale to Lyft

Transportation-on-demand service Lyft, now valued at over $15 billion after raising another $600 million in June, is on the hunt to scale its business. One move it might not be making soon, however, i

“Everyone is talking to everyone” — rideshare investor bypasses Uber-Careem rumor

Ride-hailing giant Uber is in talks over a possible merger with Middle East rival Careem, according to Bloomberg — citing three people familiar with the matter. The report suggests various dea

Marketplace giants sign EU pledge to remove dangerous goods faster

Ecommerce giants Alibaba, Amazon, eBay and Rakuten have agreed to speed up the removal of dangerous goods being sold on their online marketplaces within the European Union. The EU’s executive bo

Naspers is in talks to invest in Southeast Asia’s Carousell

Naspers, the South Africa-based firm that famously backed Chinese giant Tencent in its infancy, is in talks to invest in Singapore-based startup Carousell, according to two sources with knowledge of d

Rakuten acquires mobile commerce startup Curbside

Tokyo-headquartered Rakuten, Japan’s answer to Amazon, is acquiring the Silicon Valley mobile ordering and pickup startup Curbside, the companies announced today. Terms of the all-cash deal were

Southeast Asia-based mobile listings startup Carousell raises $85M

Carousell, the Singapore-based mobile listing service that operates across Southeast Asia, has pulled in an $85 million Series C fund as it seeks to strengthen its business among the region’s co

Viber is launching Viber Communities, group chats for up to 1B users

Messaging apps have seen a surge of popularity in recent years as people seek ways to communicate more directly than on social networks. But they also have been adding large group chat options into th

Rakuten will roll its $9B loyalty program into a new blockchain-based cryptocurrency, Rakuten Coin

Messaging apps have seen a surge of popularity in recent years as people seek ways to communicate more directly than on social networks. But they also have been adding large group chat options into th

Walmart and Rakuten partner on grocery delivery in Japan, Kobo e-books and audiobooks in U.S.

Walmart today announced a major expansion in terms of its global e-commerce presence: the retailer is entering a strategic partnership with Tokyo-based Rakuten, which will see the companies collaborat

Techstars is launching its first accelerator program in Asia in partnership with Rakuten

Techstars is bringing its global accelerator program to Asia for the first time in partnership with Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten and its chat app Viber. The companies will run a three-month progr

Amazon launches its Echo devices and Alexa in Japan

Amazon has continued its hardware push into Asia after it launched the Echo, Echo Plus, and Echo Dot in Japan today. Alongside the hardware, it is also making its Alexa voice assistant available in th
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