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Rakuten targets greater C2C stake with Fablic aquisition

Rakuten acquires flea market mobile app operator Fablic to help diversify its user demographics.

Japan’s e-commerce player Rakuten has acquired Fablic, the company behind the consumer-to-consumer (C2C) mobile beauty and fashion flea marketplace app, FRIL and motorcycle flea marketplace app, RIDE.

The deal
Rakuten launched its own app, Rakuma, in 2014. Strong in electronics and other high-end items, Rakuma’s customer base has primarily been in their 30s and older. But the platform failed to capture enough customers in the female and younger demographics. That’s where the new acquisition comes in. Fablic's Fril app has become the go-to C2C app among teenage girls and women in their 20s.

With a 100% acquisition of Fablica shares from holders including management, Nikkei Asian Review reports Rakuten will merge Fablica with its existing flea market app Rakuma to grow its total trading volume up to an estimated US$30 million (JP¥3bn).

Rakuten will also encourage Fril's small and midsize vendors to sell goods in Rakuten's larger virtual mall by allowing Rakuten IDs and points on Fril as early as this year.

“By leveraging Rakuten’s expertise and user base and our unique resources as a key player in the development of Japan’s dynamic C2C market, we aim to improve the FRIL service offering for both new and existing users,” said Shota Horii, CEO of Fablic. “We are already exploring ways to collaborate that will enable us to draw on the customer bases and respective strengths of both Fablic and the Rakuten ecosystem, enhancing usability and convenience for all users.”

A shift to mobile
The C2C e-commerce market continues to embrace mobile services that make buying and selling simpler. The C2C marketplace is a lucrative one in Japan due in part to a transition away from cumbersome auction services in favor of platforms that expedite the sale and acquisition of goods at predetermined prices.

“With our leading position in e-commerce in Japan, the addition of Fablic to the Rakuten Group will accelerate the already dynamic development of C2C services in Japan and the Rakuten ecosystem,” commented Hiroshi Mikitani, Chairman and CEO, Rakuten, Inc.

Tags: News, Rakuten, C2C

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