Japan internt giant Rakuten is continuing to expand beyond its ecommerce and ad tech roots, buying an 18% stake in AirAsia Japan, a new low cost carrier set to be launched by AirAsia.
Low cost carriers hold a 52% share of the market in Southeast Asia and over 30% in North America and Europe, and the growth in Japan continues to grow. The investment complements the company’s interest in the travel industry, as Rakuten is the parent company of Rakuten Travel, one of the most popular travel services in Japan.
Rakuten is the parent company of Rakuten Travel, one of the most popular travel services in Japan, with 29,250 member hotels]3. The business operates 17 offices in Japan and 20 additional offices across 12 markets overseas.
Through this investment, Rakuten aims to accelerate the development of its travel services, particularly in the rapidly growing Southeast Asia region, and to play its part in stimulating the travel industry as a whole.
The purchase follows Rakuten’s acquisitions of messaging app Viber, Canada’s e-book platform Kobo, Spanish video service Wuaki.tv, and Viki, a digital content platform.