Rakuten acquires Ebates

Rakuten has agreed to acquire Ebates, provider of a cash-back shopping website in North America. The company will acquire Ebates for a total  of US$1 billion in cash, and will hold 100% of Ebates outstanding voting stock.

Rakuten said in a press release that it believes that the combination of the two companies will help create an "attractive and innovative membership-based, loyalty-driven marketplace for consumers."

Rakuten operates on the B2B2C marketplace shopping model, which aims to empower merchants and deliver engaging shopping experiences. Rakuten also offers loyalty programs on the web with Rakuten Super Points. Similarly, Ebates offers online cash back shopping, which rewards shoppers with cash back on purchases while also providing access to thousands of coupons, discounts, promotions and special deals, including free shipping, at over 2,600 retailers. In 2013, members spent over US$2.2 billion shopping through Ebates.

“The combination of Rakuten and Ebates is entirely unique and will revolutionize e-commerce. Combined, Rakuten and Ebates will be able to offer our members access to what will undoubtedly be the world’s largest selection of products across the broadest range of categories. It will also give our members the greatest incentives to keep shopping,” said Rakuten’s founder and CEO Hiroshi Mikitani.

Ebates CEO, Kevin Johnson, added, “Rakuten and Ebates have a unified vision of empowerment: empower our members with the best loyalty incentives possible; and empower our merchant partners by providing them with the tools and know-how they need to succeed at e-commerce. Joining forces with Rakuten will help accelerate our US and international growth and provide deeper and richer shopping experiences for our members.”