Home  › Marketing › Retail

Pinterest Could Expand Into Asia Pacific

  |  May 19, 2012   |  Comments   |  

Japanese e-commerce giant leads a $100 million investment in the social network.

Rakuten has made a multi-million dollar investment in Pinterest. The move could help the content sharing service build out its global presence and expand into e-commerce.

The Japanese Internet services company, which describes itself as an online marketplace, said it is leading a $100 million investment in Pinterest. Rakuten operates e-commerce sites in Japan, Thailand, China, Indonesia, Taiwan, the United States, and Europe.

"We think there are lots of ways for our companies to work together," said Neel Grover, CEO of Rakuten's Buy.com. He said he didn't expect there will be dramatic changes to either sites – such as e-commerce coming to Pinterest - in coming months.

"We both believe in giving our users an entertaining and social experience," he said, adding that the properties complement each other. For instance, Rakuten e-commerce properties give shoppers the ability to chat with friends on the site and watch videos, he said.

Rakuten, which has $14 billion in annual revenue, also owns: performance marketing company LinkShare e-books company Kobo; Rakuten Travel; Rakuten Securities; Rakuten Card, and Rakuten Bank. Its e-commerce sites include: Rakuten Ichiba in Japan; Tarad.com in Thailand; Rakuten Belanja Online in Indonesia; Rakuten Taiwan; and others.

Rakuten's investment provides some clues into how Pinterest, which is a virtual pinboard, may evolve. "An investment from the largest e-commerce business in Asia makes it pretty clear where they view their niche. It's around e-commerce, product discovery... people are using for shopping and their wish lists," said Adam Berke, president of ad tech company, AdRoll, in response to a question from ClickZ. AdRoll, which specializes in retargeting display advertising for retailers and other verticals, does not have any affiliation with Pinterest.

Existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners, and FirstMark Capital, as well as angel investors, also contributed in this funding round.

Rakuten did not disclose the amount of its investment in Pinterest. Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani will serve in an advisory role to Pinterest.

Subscribe to ClickZ Asia to receive your weekly dose of the region's latest trends, tips, and insights straight to your inbox.

ClickZ Live Toronto Twitter Canada MD Kirstine Stewart to Keynote Toronto
ClickZ Live Toronto (May 14-16) is a new event addressing the rapidly changing landscape that digital marketers face. The agenda focuses on customer engagement and attaining maximum ROI through online marketing efforts across paid, owned & earned media. Register now and save!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anna Maria Virzi

Anna Maria Virzi, ClickZ's executive editor from 2007 until 2012, covered Internet business and technology since 1996. She was on the launch team for Ziff Davis Media's Baseline and also worked at Forbes.com, Web Week, Internet World, and the Connecticut Post.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get the ClickZ Marketing newsletter delivered to you. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

ion Interactive Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper

Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper
Marketing apps can elevate a formulaic landing page into a highly interactive user experience. Learn how to turn your static content into exciting marketing apps.

eMarketer: Redefining Mobile-Only Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop

Redefining 'Mobile-Only' Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop
A new breed of selective mobile-only consumers has emerged. What are the demos of these users and how and where can marketers reach them?

Jobs

    • Contact Center Professional
      Contact Center Professional (TCC: The Contact Center) - Hunt ValleyLooking to join a workforce that prides themselves on being routine and keeping...
    • Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador
      Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador (Agora Inc.) - BaltimoreAgora, www.agora-inc.com, continues to expand! In order to meet the needs of our...
    • Design and Publishing Specialist
      Design and Publishing Specialist (Bonner and Partners) - BaltimoreIf you’re a hungry self-starter, creative, organized and have an extreme...