Rakuten buys Ebates cashback site

EBatesRakuten announced today that they’ve splashed $1 Billion to acquire Ebates, the largest cash-back shopping web site in North America.

Rakuten pioneered the B2B2C marketplace shopping model and offers one of the most successful loyalty programs on the Web with Rakuten Super Points. Similarly, Ebates pioneered 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 $2.2 billion shopping through Ebates.

Thus, “The combination of Rakuten and Ebates is entirely unique and will revolutionize e-commerce,” commented 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.”.

Will we see Ebates in the UK any time soon or in combination with the launch of Rakuten.co.uk? Unlikely, their customer base is the US, Canada, China, Russia and Korea. For those customers in territories where Ebates operate it means if they can’t buy it on Rakuten then can get a discount from Ebates to purchase elsewhere (including on Rakuten’s rivals – eBay and Amazon!)