Rakuten and Dentsu have created a new Tokyo-based marketing company focused on data. The joint venture, Rakuten Data Marketing, will launch in October.
Data has become a key differentiator for Rakuten. Earlier this year, the company announced that site revenue rose 29% for display clients, while affiliate network and search sales grew by 28% and 22%, respectively. The company’s acquisitions of Manifest Commerce and NextPerf also proved profitable in 2016, contributing 20% of revenue to Rakuten Marketing.
Rakuten and Dentsu have collaborated in the past to provide support to companies through the use of the Rakuten Group's services, data and media. The deal aims to allow the companies to offer better brand-partnership opportunities and marketing services that clients can customize.
The companies did not reveal the amount that each will financially invest, but did say Rakuten will contribute 51% of the investment into the joint venture; Dentsu will invest 49%.
Makoto Arima, Rakuten group EVP and CRO, will step in as the company's president and representative director. The 21-year industry veteran joined Rakuten in July to take on the newly created position.
Arima -- who has experience at Google, Yahoo, Recruit and most recently, Adroll -- will spearhead the creation of an expanded data marketing business.