Rakuten reiterates fintech commitment via new Accelerator Program

Maria Nikolova

The focus areas range from digital payment solutions to virtual reality and AI.

Japanese online services provider Rakuten Inc (TYO:4755) is inviting applications for the 2019 Rakuten Accelerator Program in Singapore.

The theme for this edition of the program is “Future of Communication, Digital Commerce and Data Marketing”. It aims to offer innovative startup companies from around the world a chance to accelerate their innovation and explore global business opportunities.

The three-month mentorship-driven program will be hosted in Singapore and include initial funding and immersive mentorship from top executives and leaders across Techstars network and Rakuten’s e-commerce, fintech, digital content, communications, and research and development teams and access to resources across Rakuten’s ecosystem of more than 70 services.

Focus areas of the program include:

  • Mobile Network Operator related technologies;
  • Messaging app related services and technologies, including enterprise chat solutions, group messaging, social commerce and social digital marketing;
  • Digital commerce, including O2O commerce, open e-commerce, live-streaming commerce, video marketing and digital payment solutions;
  • Delivery and logistics solutions, including delivery route planning, demand forecasting, inventory location optimization and FC productivity improvement solutions;
  • Digital media, including livestreaming content and technology, and viewer engagement;
  • Ad tech solutions for offline purchasing, TV-related ad tech, retail technology and digital signage;
  • New technology solutions, including robotics, IoT, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Deep Learning and AI, and Robotic Process Automation.

Candidates are invited to submit their applications for the Rakuten Accelerator until April 7, 2019 and the program is set to commence in July 2019. Startups will be invited to Singapore, the location of Rakuten’s Asia Regional Head Office, for the three-month intensive program. The program will conclude with a Demo Day in October where each startup will have the opportunity to showcase their businesses and meet industry leaders and investors from around the world.

The launch of the new Accelerator program reiterates Rakuten’s commitment to research and development of new technological products. In December 2018, the company announced the opening of a new office of its dedicated research and development organization, Rakuten Institute of Technology, at its operations center in Bengaluru, India.

Rakuten Institute of Technology Bengaluru is the first research center for the institute in India and the sixth office worldwide. Rakuten Institute of Technology, which aims to harness the creativity and innovation, as well as the potential of emerging technologies to fuel the growth of e-commerce, already has research centers located in Tokyo, Paris, Boston, Singapore and San Mateo.

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