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Rakuten forms alliance with restaurant bookings company Gurunavi

Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten Inc. said July 30 that it entered into a capital and business alliance agreement with Japanese restaurant bookings company Gurunavi Inc. to expand its presence in the country's online reservation market.

The agreement will see the integration of the two companies' customer loyalty programs, Rakuten Super Points and Gurunavi Points.

It will also promote Gurunavi's online reservation service to Rakuten users and advertise Rakuten's payment systems at Gurunavi member restaurants.

As part of the alliance, Rakuten will acquire 4,677,600 Gurunavi shares, equating to 9.6% of the company, currently held by Gurunavi Chairman Hisao Taki.

The transaction is expected to be completed Aug. 22.