Who has the greatest interest in acquiring Pinterest? It could be Rakuten, the biggest ecommerce player you’ve never heard of, according to Bryan Boettger, Chief Creative Officer, The Buddy Group.
Boettger, speaking on the “Where Does Pinterest Go From Here” debate panel at the Social Media Insider Summit with Renegade chief Drew Neisser, predicted that Japan-based Rakuten was the most likely long-term acquirer of Pinterest, because it’s already its biggest investor, representing about $50 million of the $138 million in venture capital invested in Pinterest to date.
Neisser disagreed, suggesting that Amazon.com had more muscle and a greater stake in taking out Pinterest.
“I think it’s a no-brainer for Amazon,” Neisser asserted, adding that the motivation isn’t just because Pinterest has the ability to drive traffic, but they’re driving traffic to where people buy things. The real question is how brands fit in.”
Boettger countered that Rakuten could counter that, by leveraging its dominant shareholder position. He also implied that Rakuten might have a great motivation than Amazon.com.
“How many people here have ever heard of that company before today,” he asked the summit attendees, to which only three or four raised their hands.
“What if the investment or the return isn’t in monetizing Pinterest,” he explained. “but in bringing Rakuten, or their services or a new brand to the U.S, and Pinterest is the way to do that?”