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Rakuten Acquires Japanese Mobile Marketplace App

Rakuten has acquired Fablic, which operates Japanese marketplace app FRIL. Rakuten calls it a flea market app, but based on a recent profile of the company, it sounds like a Poshmark-Etsy mashup.

TechInAsia.com described FRIL as a consumer-to-consumer marketplace for used clothing popular with women that has expanded to include handmade goods – with “over 10,000 independent producers.”

Rakuten said cumulative downloads of the FRIL app exceed 5 million and wrote, “Japan is also seeing an increase in popularity in C2C marketplace platforms that make it possible to buy and sell speedily and at predetermined prices, as well as a transition away from auction services that involve a bidding process.”

In November 2014, Rakuten also launched Rakuma, a C2C marketplace app for use mainly on smartphones, and this is also seeing a rapid expansion in gross merchandise sales (GMS).

The combined monthly GMS of the two companies’ services exceeded several billion yen, as of the end of July 2016.

Rakuten is planning to allow users to use their Rakuten member ID to log into FRIL, and implement point campaigns utilizing Rakuten Super Points

Rakuten did not disclose the acquisition price.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.