Rakuten logs off from Tarad ownership

Rakuten logs off from Tarad ownership

Pawoot Pongvitayapanu, founder and managing director of Tarad.com in a file image supplied by the company in October 2014.
Pawoot Pongvitayapanu, founder and managing director of Tarad.com in a file image supplied by the company in October 2014.

Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten Inc has sold its entire shareholding stake in Tarad.com to Thai-owned web host Porar Web Application for an undisclosed sum.

Seven years after establishing its presence in Thailand's biggest e-commerce company, Rakuten sold the 67% stake it purchased for US$3.35 million in 2009.

The divestment is part of Rakuten's strategic Southeast Asian overhaul designed to focus on consumer-to-consumer and mobile business for e-commerce.

The deal was signed last Thursday.

Pawoot Pongvitayapanu, founder and managing director of Tarad.com, said he remains responsible for overall management and operations of the company despite the new ownership structure.

"In order to better serve local consumers, the management of Tarad.com will go back to the traditional Thai style after counting on a blend of Thai and Japanese management concepts," he said.

Mr Pawoot said Tarad.com will start implementing its new business direction and plans over the next three months. A pricing strategy will be adopted to make the company's e-commerce platform more affordable for online merchants.

Founded in 1999, Tarad.com now has 270,000 online merchants with 2.7 million customers.

Tarad.com had an accumulated loss of 117 million baht in 2013 after Rakuten acquired a majority shareholding stake, compared with a loss of 35 million in 2010 and 5.6 million in 2009.

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