Rakuten alliance with Gurunavi restaurant finder

Tinuku - Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten Inc. said it has reached a capital alliance agreement with restaurant search business Gurunavi Inc., as it looks to strengthen its foothold in the growing online eatery reservation market. Rakuten will buy Gurunavi shares of ¥4 billion ($36 million), currently held by Gurunavi Chairman Hisao Taki and acquire a stake of 9.6 percent.

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry data show the market size of online restaurant reservation services in Japan stood at 450.2 billion yen in 2017, up 36.8 percent from the previous year. In May, e-commerce company Yahoo Japan Corp. also announced a business tie-up with restaurant search site operator Retty Inc.

Tinuku Rakuten alliance with Gurunavi restaurant finder

The transaction is set to be completed on Aug. 22. Through the alliance, Rakuten hopes to develop new services and products using customer data collected by Gurunavi. The two companies' customer loyalty programs will also be gradually integrated to enhance services for each other's customers and member stores, Rakuten said.