September 17, 2012, 12:28 PM

Japan’s Rakuten invests in e-commerce operator Daily Grommet

Buy.com owner Rakuten continues its international expansion.

Thad Rueter

Senior Editor

Lead Photo

Tokyo-based Rakuten Inc. has made an unspecified investment in Daily Grommet, which operates an e-commerce site featuring products it says are relatively unknown. The capital came via Daily Grommet’s Series B funding round, and represents the latest in a series of investments by Rakuten in e-commerce companies in North America and Europe.

Daily Grommet launched in 2008 and sells products in such categories as food, home décor, gifts and health. The e-commerce operator says it uses editorial commentary and video to highlight products that might otherwise go unnoticed.

"Tens of thousands of new products are launched in the U.S. every year, so it's not hard to believe that many go unnoticed or are simply hard to find," says Jules Pieri, co-founder and CEO of Daily Grommet. "Our goal is to bridge the gap between traditional marketing and e-commerce by connecting inventors and undiscovered companies with consumers.  Working with Rakuten, with its longstanding empowerment mission, will allow both of our businesses to share knowledge and collaborate on product discovery, disrupting and improving the tired old ways of launching products."

Rakuten owns Buy.com, No. 36 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

Earlier this month, Rakuten LinkShare Corp., a provider of affiliate marketing and search marketing services, said it would buy mediaForge, a company that offers technology and services for building personalized online display ad campaigns. Other recent Rakuten moves include investments in a European online video company and in the Pinterest social network.

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