Rakuten has signed business alliance agreement with Marubeni agreement in the field of electricity retailing for the low-voltage users.
Rakuten’s philosophy is empowering people and society and it is expanding the Rakuten Ecosystem, which offers various kinds of services based around the Rakuten Super Points loyalty program. In response to growing expectations for the services in the low voltage users after the liberalization of the electricity market planned for April 2016, Rakuten has been looking for an appropriate partner who has diverse experience and know-how in the electricity business, including electricity trading, both in Japan and abroad.
Marubeni operates 23 electricity businesses around the world, and has a total generation capacity of over 10GW. In the domestic market, as a Power Producer & Supplier ("PPS") company, Marubeni is focusing on further securing its own power source and on developing its power retailing business, through promoting and developing renewable energy, such as small/medium hydro power plants in Nagano, Yamanashi and Fukushima, and the experimental offshore floating wind farm projects in Fukushima. In addition, Marubeni also holds and develops thermal power plants.
Since October 2014, when the two companies began collaborating in developing energy demand business, Rakuten and Marubeni have been engaged in expanding the electricity business utilizing Rakuten’s platform and in joint developments of a simple home energy management system ("HEMS"). It is believed that this collaboration between Rakuten, one of the largest Internet services provider in Japan, and Marubeni, an integrated trading and investing company and also one of the largest independent power producers in Japan, will promote free competition in the energy market and give new choices for users, which led to both companies reaching the agreement.
Marubeni will offer its electricity source to the low-voltage users, such as merchants on "Rakuten Ichiba" and hotels that are members of "Rakuten Travel," and will introduce new services, such as point payment service through "Rakuten Super Points" and "HEMS". Rakuten and Marubeni will continue to contribute to the advancement of the electricity market through developing the retailing business model based on the multifaceted relationships with users.