Japanese e-commerce conglomerate and fintech investor Rakuten has cemented its interest in growing its European commercial banking operation from its Luxembourg headquarters. Initially focusing on providing payment, deposit and loan services for merchants on the PriceMinister e-commerce platform in France, Rakuten Europe Bank plans to expand these services to provide banking-as-a-service facilities to high growth fintech businesses across the region, according to a release. The company already operates an online banking service on its home turf, providing personal and commercial banking service to some 3.8 million account holders.
“With Rakuten Europe Bank, we aim to provide banking services in Europe that will parallel the successes of the Rakuten Group’s Fintech businesses in Japan,” indicated Rakuten Head of Fintech Businesses Masayuki Hosaka.
Rakuten established a $100 million fintech fund in late 2015 and since taken stakes in a multitude of disruptive startup operations across Europe and North America. Prominent companies in the group’s portfolio include Currency Cloud, Azimo, Payoneer, BlueVine and Kreditech. Last August Rakuten opened a blockchain development lab in Belfast to manage its expanding portfolio of investments in the fintech arena. Capping off an exciting Q4, the conglomerate also invested 10M€ in Kreditech and partnered with World First this past December.