– Acquisition marks introduction of Rakuten Super Logistics platform to Americas –
TOKYO and LAS VEGAS, June 5, 2013– Rakuten, Inc. (JASDAQ:4755), one of the world’s largest online marketplaces, today announced that it has agreed to acquire 100% ownership of Webgistix, a Las Vegas-based logistics and services company specializing in cloud-based fulfillment technology for e-commerce retailers. The acquisition is Rakuten’s second logistics investment outside of Japan, and positions Webgistix as an integral part of Rakuten’s expanding global logistics portfolio.
Founded in 2001 in Palo Alto, Calif., Webgistix (www.webgistix.com) empowers e-commerce retailers to manage their supply chains more effectively with its cloud-based Webgistix SmartSuite of e-commerce solutions for order fulfillment, freight management, and shipment optimization. Over the past twelve years, Webgistix has built a substantial customer base that spans five continents and over 20 countries through its strategic network of company-operated fulfillment centers. This enables e-commerce retailers to reach 98 percent of e-commerce customers in the U.S. within 1-2 business days via ground delivery.
In August 2012, Rakuten Logistics began offering Rakuten Ichiba Merchants “Rakuten Super Logistics,” – integrated fulfillment service solutions, incoming/outgoing inventory management, storage, packaging, delivery, customer service and various other value-added services. November 2012 saw Rakuten announce the acquisition of Alpha Direct Services, a major French warehouse automation and logistics provider, with the goal of building out the company’s e-commerce logistics capabilities across Europe and Japan, and eventually to all its markets globally.
The acquisition of Webgistix continues the momentum behind Rakuten Super Logistics, helping to provide warehouse and fulfillment services to US-based Rakuten.com Shopping merchants while also providing key components to Rakuten globally.
Hiroshi Mikitani, Chairman and CEO of Rakuten said: “Every step of the customer path to purchase is important, especially when the process takes place electronically. Webgistix ensures that fulfillment processes are carried out successfully at the most pivotal point of each e-commerce order, where digital services meet physical services. The experienced management team at Webgistix provides entrepreneurial leadership at the foundation of a growing Americas logistics operation, one that will benefit and support our current and future e-commerce marketplace customers in the Americas, and throughout the world.”
Joseph DiSorbo, Founder and CEO of Webgistix, said: “Our core values have always reflected our belief in providing the highest level of service, technology, and partnership. This fits perfectly with the Rakuten model of empowerment. Now Webgistix and Rakuten together will expand our capabilities to provide exceptional service to merchants and consumers, empowering and helping them to achieve their goals. Together we can help online merchants realize their global potential.”
Rakuten now offers e-commerce and Internet services in over 25 countries and territories and ranks among the top 10 Internet companies in the world. Among its numerous online properties, its flagship B2B2C (business-to-business-to-consumer) model e-commerce site Rakuten Ichiba is the largest e-commerce site in Japan and among the world’s largest by sales. Its global presence has been reinforced through the acquisitions of leading online marketplaces Buy.com in US (now Rakuten.com), Priceminister (France), Ikeda (now Rakuten Brazil), Tradoria (now Rakuten Deutschland) and Play.com (UK), and investments in Ozon.ru, AHA Life and The Grommet. It also led a $100M round of funding in popular social sharing platform Pinterest. Whereas other marketplaces may compete directly with sellers, Rakuten’s model seeks to empower merchants to deliver Omotenashi, a Japanese high service mindset, which helps sellers create lasting relationships with customers.
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