Rakuten is a Japanese e-commerce company. Its Rakuten Ichiba marketplace is the largest e-commerce site in Japan. The Japanese word rakuten means optimism.
The company was founded in 1997 by Hiroshi Mikitani. Rakuten Ichiba started operations in May 1997. Since 2005 it started to expand internationally through acquisitions and join ventures.
In 2010 Rakuten acquired Buy.com for $250 million in cash, and rebranded as Rakuten.com in 2013.