Japanese e-commerce titan Rakuten is diving head first into the food delivery wars. One of the largest companies in Japan, Rakuten announced in May that it would launch an Uber Eats-like service called Rakuten Realtime Takeout, which would work within its Rakuten system and give customers points to use through the company’s many services.
But Rakuten is late to the punch on its own turf. UberEats has been the dominant force in Japanese food delivery since at least 2018 when we looked at the state of food delivery apps and found that the company had about 127,800 restaurant partners across 25 countries. Today, Uber has 13,282 currently open locations across Japan. In the five-and-a-half months since Rakuten Realtime Takeout launched, the company has only 1,693 currently open partners in comparison.
Food delivery has taken off during the pandemic and has been a crucial point of defense for companies like Uber, which have pivoted almost completely towards food delivery as its flagship ride sharing services have slowed down dramatically. Since 2018, the industry has also been consolidated; Uber acquired Postmates for $2.65 billion in July and Just Eat acquired Grubhub for $7.3 billion just a month earlier. Rakuten is looking to jump in while the iron is hot and establish a food delivery service that can take advantage of COVID-19 to rise to prominence even beyond the pandemic.
Below, we’ve provided a map pinpointing all of Uber Eats and Rakuten Realtime Takeout’s partnered restaurants in Japan
Despite having fewer locations than Uber,