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Rakuten opens office in Barcelona

Rakuten is really kicking it up a notch in Europe. Last week it was known that the Japanese ecommerce company is opening its fifth e-marketplace in Europa by launching Rakuten.at, now we’ve heard news about Rakuten opening an office in Barcelona, Spain. In five years the company wants to become the leader in the Spanish ecommerce market.

Rakuten, founded in 1997 in Tokio, has already running one of its websites, PriceMinister, in Spain and last year it bought the Spanish VOD player Wuaki.tv. By opening an Rakuten office in Barcelona, wherein the next three years about 80 people should work, it’s clear to us Rakuten really wants to gain some market share in Spain and maybe some other countries in Southern Europe. According to Rakuten, the office in Barcelona, which will open this fall, forms the base of the introduction of their ecommerce platform in Portugal and Latin American markets.

The fact Rakuten is opening an office in Barcelona is the result of a one-year-long collaboration between the Japanese company and the Tokyo team of Invest in Catalonia. The Catalan government will invest in the project and supported by the Catalan Public Employment Service they will make a pre-selection of suitable profiles for the new jobs, thereby preferably looking at the unemployed in this region.

Rakuten owns and runs websites in European countries like the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Austria. The Catalan subsidiary is only the second one opened in Europe, after the first one in France. Now one might guess what’s next? An office in the BeNeLux or Scandinavia sounds quite plausible to us…

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