What is Rakuten, anyway?

By Jeremy Woo
October 17, 2017

You may have caught yourself wondering — while watching a Barcelona game, or a Golden State Warriors game — what is Rakuten?

The jersey sponsor for two of the world’s most popular teams, among many other things, has just begun to wean its way into the minds of the consumer (or at least I imagine based solely on my own experience, for whatever that’s worth).

Rakuten Inc. is a Tokyo-based internet services and e-commerce company that was originally founded as an online marketplace before expanding wildly and globally. They’ve been on the Forbes list of most innovative companies since 2012 and recently partnered with the NBA to provide live game coverage in Japan. They also own the popular Viber messaging app, among many other things.

They have the cash to put their name on jerseys for Barcelona and the Warriors, which says plenty.


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