July 28, 2011, 3:22 PM

Japan’s Rakuten expands its European e-commerce presence

The owner of Buy.com buys 80% stake in European e-marketplace company Tradoria.

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Rakuten Inc., a Tokyo-based e-marketplace operator, has acquired an 80% stake in Germany-based Tradoria GmbH. Founded in 2007, Tradoria provides an e-commerce platform used mainly by small- and medium-sized merchants on two Tradoria e-marketplace sites in Germany and Austria, Rakuten says.

Rakuten did not say how much it paid for the stake.

Rakuten also did not disclose sales figures for Tradoria, but Tradoria’s gross merchandise sales, or the total value of products sold by sellers on its two e-commerce sites, grew 125% last year over 2009, a Tradoria spokesman tells Internet Retailer. “We have high growth expectations for this year,” he says.

The transaction is the latest by Rakuten as it expands its global e-commerce reach. The Japan-based company in 2010 bought U.S.-based online general merchandise retailer Buy.com Inc., No. 32 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. Also in 2010, Rakuten made its first move in continental Europe with the acquisition of France-based e-commerce operator PriceMinister, which is No. 121 in the Internet Retailer Europe 300 Guide. And in June, Rakuten acquired a 75% stake in Brazil-based Ikeda, which sells e-commerce technology and services to more than 100 of the largest online retailers in that country.

Rakuten says the Tradoria platform is used by some 4,400 shops that together sell 8 million products on Tradoria.de in Germany and Tradoria.at in Austria. The sites also handle online payment processing and customer service communications.

“Tradoria is a fast growing company that shares Rakuten's vision of empowering merchants and consumers," says Hiroshi Mikitani, founder, chairman and CEO of Rakuten. "Together, we will help each other grow in Europe and continue to open new markets worldwide to our merchants."

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