Rakuten Social Accelerator to foray into India


Rakuten Social Accelerator launched in Japan in 2018 as part of Rakuten’s social sustainability initiative. The accelerator welcomes social entrepreneurs who are trying to impact society by not just addressing the symptoms of social issues but by ascertaining and fixing their root causes.

Rakuten, Inc., a global leader in internet services headquartered in Tokyo,  announced that its social innovation initiative, Rakuten Social Accelerator, is expanding globally with the launch of the program at its Development and Operations Center in Bengaluru, Rakuten India.

Drawing on the success of the program launched in Japan during 2018, Rakuten India selected three local non-profit organizations, Robin Hood Army, Wildlife SOS and Samarpana Charitable Trust for The Disabled, as inaugural partners for 2019. By working with Rakuten, these partners will be able to make full use of the company’s global portfolio of online services and brand visibility, as well as gain access to industry talent to move their business plans forward at a previously unattainable scale.

“I’m thrilled with the launch of Rakuten Social Accelerator in India,” said Narendra Narayana, Chief Operating Officer, Rakuten India. “Rakuten is built on a philosophy of empowering society and through this program, our aim is to solve crucial social challenges by partnering with entrepreneurs who are passionate about creating tangible impact. I am delighted to welcome Robin Hood Army, Wildlife SOS and Samarpana Charitable Trust as our first partners in India.”

Robin Hood Army comprises of a group of working professionals, students, homemakers connected on a common platform that works towards creating awareness around food wastage and eliminating hunger, while Wildlife SOS aims to protect wildlife and conserve habitat by creating alternative and sustainable livelihoods for poacher communities that depend on wildlife for sustenance. Samarpana Charitable Trust for The Disabled (R) Tumakuru works for the visually disabled and aims to empower them to use their talent to live independently.

First launched in Japan during 2018, Rakuten Social Accelerator is a collaboration program that brings together social entrepreneurs, not-for-profit organizations and Rakuten employees, each with a social mission to tackle critical issues facing society today using technologies and business assets.

Over the next 5 months of the program in India, a team of 20 Rakuten employees will volunteer their time and technical expertise to develop comprehensive applications that will help these organizations expand and scale their operations.

Since its founding in 1997, Rakuten has strived to grow its business with its mission to “contribute to society by creating value through innovation and entrepreneurship” based on the philosophy of advancing and enriching society through high-quality services that help its users and partners grow. In its sustainability efforts, Rakuten also promotes various activities both in Japan and abroad to realize a sustainable society based on the shared values of the Rakuten Group.