"Within Asia, we already have e-commerce businesses in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Taiwan and plan to expand further in Southeast Asia. We not only invest in startups in Asia but also make business synergies [with startups for Rakuten’s] business."
Specifically, I was told that the type of startups that Rakuten Asia is looking for are those that are focused on e-commerce or e-commerce-related areas. It could be anything from social commerce sites with high traffic (like Pinterest) to mobile applications to e-commerce enablers such as marketing tools and solutions (like ReferralCandy), etc. Besides e-commerce, Rakuten is also keen to invest in online travel and digital content as it seeks to expand its portfolio in Asia.
The new Rakuten fund is lead by Mr. Toru Shimada, CEO and chairman of Rakuten Asia.