Monday, July 06, 2009

TechCrunch on Rakuten

Just last week we were talking here on the BOOT about the Japanese online travel market. Then over the weekend TechCrunch published a very detailed and interesting profile of Rakuten called "Japan’s Rakuten: Can The Biggest E-Commerce Site You Never Heard Of Become a Threat for Amazon Globally?". The post discusses Rakuten's full ecommerce spectrum and (as per the title) their challenge to Amazon. We here in BOOT land have spoken often about how Rakuten Travel is probably biggest online travel player in Asia and one of the biggest in the world. Online travel sales for Rakuten are in the $2billion range, beating out Ctrip, Wotif, AsiaRooms or any of the Asian interations of the big four Expedia (including eLong), Travelocity (including Zuji), Priceline (including Agoda) and Orbitz (including HotelClub).

TechCrunch article is good reading, as is their CrunchBase profile page for Rakuten.


Carl Jackson said...

Hi Tim,
I saw this other day too. They are a behemoth that I'd often hear about when in Japan.

The article had some interesting points about the challenges facing companies (even of their scale) when trying to break out or into new markets with strong incumbents.

Tim Hughes said...

@Carl - we should not forget the big number two there (Jalan/Recruit) but Rakuten keeps this up then in 2011/2012 we will be talking about a big 6 in online travel