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Rakuten Group, Inc. (RKUNF)

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    Costs of Rakuten Mobile had peaked in Q1/22

    Rakuten Mobile chairman and CEO Mickey Mikitani expressed optimism costs had peaked in Q1, as it targeted discontinuation of roaming and converting remaining customers on free plans to paid users in the current quarter.

    Mikitani explained with roaming on KDDI’s network dropping to 10 per cent of traffic from 30 per cent in Q1 2021, profitability is expected to start improving in the current quarter. He noted less than half of Rakuten Mobile’s customers joining on free plans were chargeable at end-2021.

    MNO subscribers increased 2.1 million to 4.9 million. MVNO users fell from 1.5 million to 770,000. Average data usage per paying customers increased 40.8 per cent, though didn’t disclose the actual monthly volume.

    Rakuten Symphony CEO Tareq Amin said its platform business is now in the delivery stage after booking contracts and expects to record a significant amount of revenue in 2022, with growth accelerating at the beginning of 2023.
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    Rakuten Symphony poises for disruption with Symworld

    By Dean Ramsay, Principal Analyst, TM Forum February, 2022

    On the call with press and analysts this week, Rakuten Symphony announced that its sales pipeline looked incredibly healthy with $3 billion in bookings, and also revealed its latest development in its cloud-native operations journey: Symworld, an app store for building telecoms networks.

    This is apparently the realization of a long-held ambition for Tareq Amin, Chief Technology Officer at Rakuten Group and Rakuten Symphony CEO, and will see Symphony customers buying cloud-native apps for OSS, engineering tasks, network management knowledge and people management, or whatever they need to build and run a network.

    This concept is of course nothing new, but it is not the industry’s principal procurement or IT deployment model today, so there is an opportunity if Symphony can make it work.

    The idea of an app store of modular components that are pre-approved to interoperate fits neatly into many operators’ cloud evolution strategies and may go some of the way to allaying their fears around the management of hyperscaler relationships.

    At first the plan is to sell Symphony’s own software apps, with a surprisingly large initial offering of 54 products, but then open up to the vendor community to embed their own apps in the store. For an idea of who may be open to this idea in the first instance, the group of vendors that supply Rakuten Mobile in Japan is a good place to start. Amin has said in the past that the mobile operator group within the company is like a ‘live lab’ for Symphony, hammering out concepts before bringing them to market in the vendor.
    Will Rakuten Sym’s new app store, Symphony, disrupt how communications service providers (CSPs) buy, build and manage networks?
    Will Rakuten Sym’s new app store, Symphony, disrupt how communications service providers (CSPs) buy, build and manage networks?
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    Strong Rakuten Mobile Marketing
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    Rakuten (RKUNY) Stock Analysis By: JONATHAN SCHRAMM Last Updated: April 15, 2022

    In this report, I will show the following:

    The quality and growth of e-commerce segment alone coils support a much higher market cap. We will also discuss why some Japanese equities deserve a second look, especially growing and modern companies.

    The capital intensive phase of the mobile operations is largely done. Their losses should drop dramatically and they might even turn profitable.

    The Rakuten ecosystem is a world-class moat, and the mobile activity reinforces it

    The financial branch of the company is largely not discussed, despite large opportunities available in Online Banking, FinTech, Insurtech, and for monetizing the data collected.

    The investment in mobile network technology has been used to develop a unique technology stack, similar to what Amazon did with AWS. It could be massively adopted abroad by low-cost mobile operators, as demonstrated by some recent high-margin sales of the solution. This will also transform Rakuten’s investing profile from “Japan e-commerce” to a diversified international tech conglomerate.
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    An example for the stores of Rakuten Mobile
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    How you don’t need to pay for Google Ads

    Why choose Rakuten Marketing?

    Six reasons you should choose Rakuten Marketing:

    The organization is expanding to provide the best Omni experience.

    Awards say it all – performance marketing award, best attribution solution, digital player’s club power player, affiliated network, and much.

    Number 1 company in providing customer assistance.

    They are the leaders. Rakuten Marketing Growth is always relegating the industry. Its growth is continuing to beat the industries year after year.

    Online and offline, cross-channel inconsistency- The journey of the customers does not stop online. They have powerful tools to track customer experience.

    The company is backed by a leading Internet power player.

    Why should you choose affiliate marketing? Because:

    You do not need to buy or hold the stocks.

    You don’t have to deal with sales or customers.

    You don’t need to deal with refund and dispatch.

    You can easily run your affiliate marketing business from any corner of the world.

    With affiliate ads on your other websites, increase the traffic on your e-commerce site.

    Your overheads for hiring employees to manage marketing comes down.

    You don’t need to pay for Google Ads once your sales increase through affiliate marketing.

    Customers are more likely to find your products with your affiliate ads on other business networks/blogs.
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    Rakuten owning near 40% of Cabify

    Shared mobility: Shaping the future of cities

    Lucía Chávarri, Vice President of New Business at Cabify, addresses the need to re-think current mobility models as cities battle congestion, carbon emissions and inefficient travel, and explains how shared mobility can act as an enabler for such change.

    Technological solutions are fuelling shared mobility

    Also, in the context of the pandemic, technology‑based solutions fuelling shared mobility have proved able to add value with new alternatives. We entered the delivery segment with the launch of our courier service Cabify Envíos in April 2020, making our transport infrastructure available to cities and communities at a time of unprecedented logistical and mobility challenges. Almost a year and a half after the start of these operations, the balance is resoundingly positive and enjoys great success in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay and Spain. In addition, more recently, we announced that we are working on a number of pilot projects with major Latin American retailers for the activation of an innovative B2B2C retail delivery service. With this decision, we aim to promote efficient, multimodal mobility of objects, delivered on net-zero rides for the first time.

    Multi-mobility and innovation are, in our view, the two central ingredients to minimise sustainable impact and respond to the new mobility demands that today’s users of passenger and goods transport services are increasingly expressing. They are looking for flexibility, the power to make informed choices through technology and truly efficient transport options. Our recent survey of thousands of citizens in Spain and Latin America for the report ‘Reimagining Cities’ shows that 43.1 per cent of Spaniards highlight “taking as little time as possible” or “getting to the destination on time” as the most important factors when it comes to getting around.

    At Cabify, we have made important commitments and achieved various milestones in terms of environmental, social and economic sustainability. Specifically, in terms of environmental balance, we are committed to a 15 per cent annual emissions reduction and have been the first, and only, carbon-neutral mobility app in Latin America and Europe for three years now. In 2020, we announced the pioneering implementation of blockchain technology for the efficiency and traceability of funds that we allocate to offsetting projects in countries such as Chile and Peru. We also remain determined to advance the electrification of our vehicle fleet, whose average age (two years) is well below the average age of vehicle fleets in all the countries where we operate.

    A city only flourishes and evolves when all of its inhabitants can fully participate in its opportunities, when access to mobility is inclusive and real. Based on this conviction, since 2019, we have made our app 100 per cent accessible to blind people, and we are moving towards total accessibility, making transport easily accessible to deaf people, the elderly, people with attention deficits, etc.

    Technological innovation is key

    Technological innovation is innate to the entrepreneurial projects of start-ups like ours, and in mobility the potential is immense. We have been able to implement improvements in our technological systems to reduce empty kilometres (when the driver travels without a passenger) and also to optimise journeys to the maximum, reducing arrival and waiting times. In addition, with services such as Super (delivery of food products in collaboration with Lola Market) or Bive (bicycle rental by subscription), we avoid the unnecessary use of private vehicles and promote more sustainable mobility.

    Electric micro-mobility (motorbikes and scooters) – another of our major commitments – has also proven its impact, avoiding the emission of 90 tonnes of CO2 in 2020. In countries like Spain, where there are over 24 million registered cars – according to the Directorate-General of Traffic – this sort of shared mobility alternatives can be instrumental in achieving a more efficient use of public space and remarkably better air quality.

    Shared mobility plays a key role in finding solutions to the challenges ahead. We must therefore guarantee the future of cities by protecting environmental balance and social cohesion through a transport model that is truly compatible with that future. This is how we can make our cities better places to live in, where people and the planet are the most important things.
    Cabify's Lucía Chávarri addresses the need to re-think current mobility models as cities battle congestion, emissions and inefficient travel.
    Cabify's Lucía Chávarri addresses the need to re-think current mobility models as cities battle congestion, emissions and inefficient travel.
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    Rakuten Mobile Achieves 96% Population Coverage

    27. April 2022

    Rakuten Mobile has achieved 96% population coverage for its 4G service in Japan. Check out the ceremonial procedure of turning on the base station in Yamaguchi Prefecture to reach 96%, as well as comments from executives who had led the company to achieve this target four years ahead of schedule. *Please note that the job titles of Rakuten Mobile executives in this video is current as of the date of the event.
    [RNN] Rakuten Mobile Achieves 96% Population Coverage
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    Rakuten Points and JAL Miles Now Mutually Exchangeable
    - In a first for major loyalty point programs in Japan, the mileage services of Japan’s two leading airlines can now be mutually exchanged with Rakuten Points, offering users more options than ever.

    Tokyo, May 11, 2022 – Rakuten Group, Inc. today announced a collaboration with Japan Airlines Co., Ltd.’s mileage service, JAL Mileage Bank, in which Rakuten Points – Rakuten’s loyalty points program – can now be mutually exchanged*1 with JAL Miles. As Rakuten Points have been mutually exchangeable with All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd.’s Miles since 2004, this new JAL collaboration marks the first time that a major Japanese loyalty points program*2 has become mutually exchangeable with the mileage programs of both of Japan’s leading airlines.

    When converting Rakuten Points into JAL Miles, two Rakuten Points can be exchanged for one JAL Mile. Users can exchange a minimum of 50 Rakuten Points – in increments of two points – up to a maximum monthly amount of 20,000 Rakuten Points for JAL Miles. Conversely, when converting JAL Miles into Rakuten Points, the minimum exchange amount is 3,000 miles – in increments of 1,000 miles. One JAL Mile can be exchanged for 0.5 Rakuten Points. However, for exchanges of 10,000 miles or more – in increments of 10,000 miles – one JAL Mile can be exchanged for 0.8 Rakuten Points*3. Users can access a dedicated webpage from Rakuten Point Club, the website for managing Rakuten Points to exchange their preferred number of points or miles. The equivalent exchanged points or miles will be received within approximately ten days of the time of application.

    Since 2010, Rakuten and the JAL Group have jointly offered the dynamic travel package JAL Raku Pack — flight tickets and hotel accommodations which can be arranged through the Rakuten Travel reservation service. In addition, multiple Rakuten services have collaborated with Japan Air Lines in the past, including sales of in-flight meals through the Rakuten Ichiba internet shopping mall and point back campaigns through Rakuten Rebates when purchasing flight tickets. This latest collaboration offers users more options for earning and using Rakuten Points and JAL Miles, while promoting the mutual use of both companies’ services and offering greater convenience to Rakuten and JAL Mileage Bank members.

    In addition to Rakuten Group services, Rakuten Points can also be earned and used at supermarkets, convenience stores and other affiliated businesses across Japan. To date, Rakuten members have earned a cumulative total of more than 2.5 trillion Rakuten Points*4. Rakuten Point Club allows users to convert approximately 50 different partner companies’ points into Rakuten Points.

    Rakuten is committed to delivering new value through Rakuten Points, while offering an exceptional shopping experience that is both fun and convenient for users. SCF Small Cell Awards 2022 Fi
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    Rakuten is an important owner and an important client of AST

    AST SpaceMobile Announces Collaboration with Globe Telecom

    Memorandum of Understanding Would Explore Opportunities to Extend AST SpaceMobile's Planned Coverage to Globe Telecom Customers

    MIDLAND, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AST SpaceMobile, Inc. ("AST SpaceMobile") (NASDAQ: ASTS), the company building the first and only space-based cellular broadband network designed to be accessible directly by standard mobile phones, today announced a Memorandum of Understanding ("MoU") with Globe Telecom, Inc. ("Globe") (NASDAQ: GTMEF).

    Globe is a leading digital platform in the Philippines, serving consumers and businesses’ telecommunications and technology needs, including about 86 million wireless subscribers.

    "The Philippines’ thousands of islands create formidable challenges to meet a growing demand for cellular broadband connectivity," said Chris Ivory, Chief Commercial Officer of AST SpaceMobile. “We believe our planned space-based network solution is well-suited to help, and we’re excited to work with Globe.”

    Once launched, AST SpaceMobile would aim to provide Globe with expanded coverage and reach to remote and underserved areas.
    AST SpaceMobile announces a Memorandum of Understanding with Globe Telecom, Inc.
    AST SpaceMobile announces a Memorandum of Understanding with Globe Telecom, Inc.
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    Rakuten wins 5G Challenge early bird award from NTIA, DoD

    LIGHT READING 4/26/2022

    WASHINGTON – Today, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's (NTIA) Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS), in Boulder, Colo., in collaboration with the Department of Defense (DoD), announced 5G Challenge contestants selected from Early-Bird entries. This prize competition aims to accelerate the adoption of open interfaces, interoperable components and multi-vendor solutions toward the development of an open 5G ecosystem.

    After evaluating Early-Bird white papers, the 5G Challenge selected Rakuten Mobile USA's Central Unit (CU) and Distributed Unit (DU) for interoperability testing with the 5G Challenge host lab, CableLabs.
    Rakuten's Central Unit (CU) and Distributed Unit (DU) will be tested by CableLabs under the 5G Challenge program from the NTIA and Defense Department.
    Rakuten's Central Unit (CU) and Distributed Unit (DU) will be tested by CableLabs under the 5G Challenge program from the NTIA and Defense Department.
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    Carousell acquires S’pore second-hand fashion retailer Refash to drive “recommerce” growth

    Angela Teng

    Singapore’s online marketplace Carousell has signed a deal to acquire Refash, an omni-channel fashion recommerce retailer.

    The partnership with Refash enables Carousell to take a significant next step for one of its core categories to make selling secondhand fashion even simpler, “and to power the future of sustainable and circular fashion,” said Carousell.

    Quek Siu Rui, Co-founder and CEO of Carousell commented: “We see immense opportunity in teaming up to make selling even simpler for anyone time-starved who has underused clothes in their wardrobes. With our reach and expertise in using technology and AI to create seamless buy-sell experiences for secondhand, we are excited to partner and accelerate the growth of Refash.”

    “The acquisition will drive a synergistic partnership between the marketplaces and accelerate the pace of recommerce in Singapore,” said Carousell.

    Carousell is backed by investors including Telenor Group, Rakuten Ventures, Naver, STIC Investments, and Sequoia Capital India.

    The online classifieds marketplace raised US$100 million in a round of funding in September last year, taking its valuation to US$1.1 billion.
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    Key Metaverse Statistics & Facts 2022

    The Metaverse market size is predicted to reach as much as $800 billion by 2024

    JP Morgan predicts the Metaverse market size will be worth $1 trillion (no time frame given)

    Goldman Sachs predicts the Metaverse market size will be worth $1-12 trillion (no time frame given)

    The Metaverse market was worth $46 billion in 2020
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    Please click on the category name to view the finalists - Excellence in commercial deployment by an MNO

    Ericsson and Ooredoo – Ooredoo Qatar and Ericsson multi-operator indoor 5G solution

    Mavenir and Vodafone UK – Making Open RAN containerized small cells solution a commercial reality

    Rakuten Mobile and Airspan – Rakuten Mobile deployment of Open RAN and small cells
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    VIAVI selected by Rakuten Symphony for 5G Open vRAN „lab to the field“ trails

    21 Apr 2022

    Rakuten Symphony, which was established in April 2021 by Rakuten Group to bring together Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP), Open RAN software and all of Rakuten’s international telco solutions, has selected Viavi Solutions (VIAVI’s) TM500 Network Tester to validate performance of its solutions ‘from the lab to the field’. In a press release the vendor noted that the two companies are looking to accelerate the deployment of 5G Open vRAN and the testbed has been designed to simulate a citywide network.
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    Cloud video revenues from $5bn in 2019 to $67.5bn by 2024, a CAGR of 67%

    Edging closer to 5G content delivery in the cloud

    April 13, 2022

    5G edge networks will drive cloud video revenues from $5bn in 2019 to $67.5bn by 2024, a CAGR of 67%, according to insights from ABI research.
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    Strong increase of the deposits of Rakuten Bank

    Rakuten Bank's value of deposits 2013-2022

    Published by L. Kettenhofen, Apr 8, 2022

    As of March 2022, the value of deposits at Rakuten Bank, Ltd. amounted to 7.77 trillion Japanese yen, an increase of 34.7 percent compared to the previous year. Rakuten Bank, Ltd. is a Japanese online bank that belongs to the Rakuten Group.
    As of March 2022, the value of deposits at Rakuten Bank, Ltd.
    As of March 2022, the value of deposits at Rakuten Bank, Ltd.
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    Rakuten to Acquire SKY ESTATE - Rakuten set to strengthen its unmanned solution business with drone schools and drone operator crowdsourcing

    Tokyo, April 20, 2022 - Rakuten Group, Inc. today announced that it has concluded an agreement to acquire all shares of SKY ESTATE Inc., a leading developer of various drone-related businesses, including drone pilot dispatch and training. Through this agreement, SKY ESTATE becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Rakuten Group.

    SKY ESTATE is a leading company in the development of a wide array of drone-related businesses, including drone schools and operator crowdsourcing (human resource matching), drone-conducted external wall inspection and solar panel measurement and inspection, aerial photography, filming and video production using micro-drones, and consultation on the use and implementation of drones. Both companies intend to leverage SKY ESTATE’s management expertise and network in the drone industry to further expand Rakuten’s unmanned solution business, which operates drone schools and promotes labor-saving and efficiency improvements for work involving drones (including inspections, surveys and filming), and aim to further expand employment opportunities in the industry through producing highly skilled operators and crowdsourcing.

    Rakuten launched a delivery project using drones in 20161 and has implemented a number of unmanned delivery service demonstration trials – some of which were firsts in Japan – to address logistics issues facing Japan by reducing the human resources required to make deliveries. Rakuten has also founded the Rakuten Drone Academy, a school intended to provide operators with the knowledge and skills necessary to pilot drones, conducted inspections of Rakuten Mobile base stations using drones as well as surveys for fire insurance conducted by Rakuten General Insurance, among other initiatives. Both companies are confident that the combination of Rakuten's vision and past achievements with SKY ESTATE's drone schools and expertise in drone-conducted inspections will make a significant contribution to the further growth of the drone industry.

    Rakuten and SKY ESTATE will continue working to promote the use of drones, driving innovation and delivering new services.
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    Rakuten (4755 JP) | Time to Cover the Shorts

    Equity Bottom-Up

    19 Apr 2022 03:40


    We have a non-consensus Bullish call on Rakuten and see over 60% upside to the share price

    The key driver will be a recovery in the Mobile Business

    We expect losses to gradually improve as roaming fees and customer acquisition costs start to decline