Japanese tech and Ecommerce conglomerate Rakuten announced today its plans to acquire popular American online coupon firm Ebates.
Japanese news outlet Nikkei.com was the first to report on the matter this last Saturday morning. Nikkei reported Rakuten was in the final stages of completing the purchase for an estimated JPY 100 billion ($951 million).
For those unfamiliar with Ebates, the company was founded in 1998 and offers coupons and cash-back incentives by partnering with major retailers. Retailer such as Amazon, Walmart, Nike, and Expedia are just some of those cooperating with Ebates. The news of a possible acquisition comes as a surprise to most experts, believing Ebates was not too far off from its own IPO.
For Rakuten, acquiring such a firm will help instill its presence in the US, as well as provide a new US based revenue stream. This is not the first we have seen of Rakuten expanding outside of Japan, and recently they acquired US Ecomemrce application developer Slice. Rakuten is also developing a UK version of its Ecommerce platform expected to launch in March 2015.
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The most headlined acquisition Rakuten made as of late was that of VOIP and messaging service Viber in February 2014.