Japan’s Rakuten to exit Thailand’s ecommerce co Tarad.com in Feb

Homepage of Tarad.com

Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten Inc is in talks to sell its entire stake in Thailand’s largest e-commerce company, Tarad.com, to an undisclosed Thai e-commerce company.

The deal is expected to be sealed this month, Pawoot Pongvitayapanu, founder and managing director of Rakuten Tarad.com, told Bangkok Post.

Rakuten holds 67 per cent in Tarad.com since its acquisition in 2009 for $35 million, and Pongvitayapanu holds the rest.

The closure follows Rakuten’s strategic overhaul of its business in Southeast Asia.

Previously, Rakuten focused on business-to-business and business-to-consumer models. It now plans to shift to focus on consumer-to-consumer (C2C) by launching mobile app, Rakuma, instead.

Currently, the main competitors for C2C apps in the region are Carousell and Shopee. The latter has already stepped into Thailand.

Tarad.com had an accumulated loss of 117 million baht in 2013, rising from losses of 35 million baht in 2010 and 5.6 million baht in 2009.

According to Pongvitayapanu, Tarad.com would continue business as usual and prepare to implement a strategic shift following the new shareholding structure.

Rakuten earlier announced that it is shutting down its e-commerce marketplaces in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia from March 1. Around 150 employees are laid off due to the closure.

The company stated that it would focus on the e-commerce market in Japan where it is a market leader. Apart from Japan, it will continue the operation in Taiwan, East Asia and the United States.

Also read:

Japan’s Rakuten shutting marketplace platforms in SG, Indonesia & Malaysia

Rakuten Ventures launches new $85m fund for Japanese tech startups

Japan’s Rakuten launches $100m fintech-focussed global investment fund

Thailand 2016: Top trends to look out for in nascent but fast-growing e-commerce market

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.