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Parent Company: Rakuten Inc

Brand value: $2,073 million

Headquarter city: Tokyo

Industry: Retail

Year formed: 1997

Rakuten is a Japanese e-commerce and IT company that offers a variety of Internet services, including internet banking, credit cards, fintech, and communications services. Most notably, however, it runs Japan’s most popular e-commerce website. Rakuten’s name derives from the Japanese word for “optimism,” and indeed the brand’s positioning is inherently upbeat, with the company aiming to surprise and delight more than 1.3 billion shoppers and service users worldwide with its offerings. The company began in 1997, at a time when few thought Japanese consumers would want to shop on the internet, by inviting retailers to set up online “store-in-stores” on the Rakuten webpage. By 2002, the company had an online point program, “Rakuten Super Point,” and featured over 6,000 webstores. The company has long focused its sponsorships around sports, and founded the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles in 2005. More recently, and in a sign of the company’s ambitions for global expansion, the company signed major sponsorship deals with FC Barcelona, the Golden State Warriors, and Tokyo Fashion Week. The company has also pushed a program of continuous technical innovation; in 2019, Rakuten and Seiyu launched their first commercial drone delivery service in for users in remote Japanese islands. The company is also set to launch its mobile phone service in late 2019. Rakuten Inc is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.