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Japan’s Rakuten acquires U.S. mobile pickup startup

Rakuten acquired Curbside, the Palo Alto, California-based technology company whose solutions enable customers to use a mobile app to place orders at thousands of stores and restaurants. Curbside will operate independently as a Rakuten-owned company.

According to the Japanese e-retailer, Curbside’s team, services, partners and product offerings will remain intact.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed, however Curbside was valued at more than $100 million during its last round of venture capital funding in 2015, according to Silicon Valley Business Journal.

Curbside was founded in 2013, as a means of streamlining mobile commerce at brick-and-mortar locations. The company’s platform uses predictive arrival technology that enables retailers to streamline order fulfillment, and scale orders for store pickup and home delivery.

“Curbside is changing the way traditional brick-and-mortar retailers and restaurants are interacting with their customers,” said Yaz Iida, president of Rakuten USA. “Welcoming Curbside to the Rakuten family is all about the consumer, and we are excited to be able to empower consumers with even more ways to enjoy shopping.”

The acquisition will give also Curbside the resources needed to accelerate its platform, scale globally and help its partners tap into Rakuten’s sizable ecosystem comprised of over 1 billion consumers and merchants.

“Combining Rakuten’s mobile properties with Curbside’s technology has the potential to enable brick-and-mortar restaurants and stores to give their customers an immediate, convenient way to let consumers order ahead and drive growth,” said Jaron Waldman, co-founder and CEO of Curbside. “Store operators armed with real-time information can provide great service to the growing number of mobile shoppers.”
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