Press Release
September 9, 2014

Goodwin Procter Advises Investor Consortium in Rakuten’s $1 Billion Acquisition of Ebates


Goodwin attorneys recently advised an investor consortium in connection with Rakuten Inc.’s announced $1 billion cash acquisition of retail website Ebates. The investor group, which together owns a substantial majority of Ebates, includes August Capital, Canaan Partners and Foundation Capital. The transaction is expected to close in October 2014.

Based in Tokyo, Rakuten is Japan’s largest e-commerce site and among the world’s largest Internet services companies. The company was founded in 1997 with six employees. Today, Rakuten operates in 28 countries and regions with 11,000 employees around the world.

Ebates, founded in 1998 by two Deputy District Attorneys in California’s Silicon Valley, offers coupons and cash rebates to customers who shop at its more than 2,600 partner retailers, including Amazon, Bloomingdales, Delta and Target. In 2012, Ebates members spent more than $1.6 billion through its websites and shopping programs.

August Capital, based in Menlo Park, Calif., is a venture capital firm that invest in companies differentiated by technical innovation and entrepreneurial excellence. The firm manages $1.3 billion and has invested in more than 75 companies across the technology spectrum. Companies backed by August represent an aggregate market capitalization over $250 billion. August Capital was founded in 1995 by Dave Marquardt and John Johnston.

Canaan Partners is a global venture capital firm that invests in people with visionary ideas. The firm was an early investor in some of the world’s leading technology companies including PrimeSense, SuccessFactors and LendingClub, as well as healthcare companies Cereza, Chimerix and Advanced BioHealing. Canaan is focused on seed and early-stage technology and healthcare startups based in the U.S., India and Israel. The firm is headquartered in Menlo Park, Calif.

Foundation Capital, based in Menlo Park, Calif., is a venture capital firm founded in 1995 by Bill Elmore, Kathryn Gould and Jim Anderson. The firm invests in a range of industries including enterprise software, clean technology, consumer Internet, and fabless semiconductors, among others. Foundation Capital typically makes $1-10 million initial investments and is involved in subsequent founds of financing.

The Goodwin deal team was led by partner Larry Chu.

To learn more, please read the Rakuten press release announcing the transaction. Press coverage of the deal included articles in the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, The New York Times, and TechCrunch.

Goodwin has established itself as a leader in advising individual investors and investor groups in connection with significant venture capital and private equity exits. Recent transactions include Maker Studios’ sale to The Walt Disney CompanyOculus’ sale to Facebook and Nest’s sale to Google.