Rakuten to acquire US cash-back shopping website, Ebates, for $1bn

Rakuten has announced it has agreed to acquire Ebates, a provider of the largest cash-back shopping website in North America. The company will acquire Ebates for a total consideration of $1b in cash, and will hold 100% of Ebates outstanding voting stock.

Rakuten is a pioneer of the B2B2C marketplace shopping model, which aims to empower merchants and deliver the world’s most engaging shopping experience. Rakuten also offers one of the most successful loyalty programmes on the web with Rakuten Super Points.

Ebates is a pioneer and leader in online cash back shopping, which rewards shoppers with cash back on purchases while also providing access to thousands of coupons, discounts, promotions and special deals, including free shipping, at over 2,600 retailers. In 2013, members spent over $2.2bn shopping through Ebates. Together, Rakuten and Ebates will be able to offer its members the most empowering—and rewarding—shopping experience available anywhere, the company claims.

“The combination of Rakuten and Ebates is entirely unique and will revolutionise e-commerce,” said Rakuten, Inc. founder and CEO Hiroshi Mikitani. “This is all about the consumer and we are excited to be able to empower our members with even more ways to enjoy shopping on Rakuten and Ebates. Combined, Rakuten and Ebates will be able to offer our members access to what will undoubtedly be the world’s largest selection of products across the broadest range of categories. It will also give our members the greatest incentives to keep shopping.”

Ebates CEO, Kevin Johnson, said: “Rakuten and Ebates have a unified vision of empowerment: empower our members with the best loyalty incentives possible; and empower our merchant partners by providing them with the tools and know-how they need to succeed at e-commerce. Joining forces with Rakuten will help accelerate our US and international growth and provide deeper and richer shopping experiences for our members.”

Rakuten said it believes the combination of the two companies will help create the world’s most attractive and innovative membership-based, loyalty-driven marketplace for consumers.