Rakuten recently invested a nice chunk of change in Slice, the startup behind an e-commerce app that uses data from your inbox to help you keep track of your current online purchases and spending history. According to a Rakuten spokesperson, the decision is primarily about investment, not about a partnership. But it would be silly to assume Rakuten isn’t interested in Slice’s consumer tools.
In the past three months, Rakuten has also acquired data analytics tech company PopShops and the logistics company Webgistix. That last is thought to be a direct challenge to Amazon, Rakuten’s main e-commerce competitor.
Is Rakuten’s investment in Slice part of a plan to start giving Amazon a run for its customer service money?