Japan's leading online shopping group is to launch a San Francisco-based investment company to identify and purchase online businesses in the USA. Rakuten, which also own Japan’s third most popular website, will start to expand its portfolio of services next month, says president of US operations Hiroshi Mikitani.

According to Mikitani, the venture – Rakuten's first overseas – is a "strategic investment vehicle" to make acquisitions of technologies. It will give Rakuten experience in the US, preparing for an expansion of its domestic auctions and online shopping. There is also the possibility of further strategic partnerships in other overseas markets.

News source: Financial Times