Japan invests in the most successful startup in the region

By Thursday April 26th, 2018All, Press release

New Rakuten Aquafadas office opening

Montpellier, 07 March 2018

Rakuten Aquafadas, expert in digital publishing, interactive content and apps creation, part of the Rakuten Group, has moved to a new premises in Montpellier. The new office has been named Rakuten Crimson House Montpellier on 2nd March and is located in Parc Club Millenaire.

Rakuten Aquafadas has been founded 12 years ago and is one of the most successful startups of the region. It has commenced creating desktop apps then lead with digitisation of comic books and press. And today it helps enterprises with their digital and mobile comms journey through innovative apps and content software. Currently it’s the biggest Research & Development business unit of Rakuten Europe.

It has been previously based in Cap Omega and then MIBI – the startups incubators. Today, the new chapter has been marked by a move to an open workspace designed to become a place where people and ideas thrive following the philosophy of all “Rakuten Crimson House” offices across the world. .

Yasufumi Hirai, Executive Vice Président, CIO & CISO Rakuten Group, President of Rakuten Aquafadas.
“Adjustable desks without dividers, open meeting spaces, a video conference system that lets us interact with colleagues around the world as if we’re all in the same room all empowering spontaneous collaboration. This is our vision of the cutting-edge work environment come to life and the Montpellier office deserves the prestigious internal label of «Rakuten Crimson House»”

The freshly renovated office has been designed to improve daily work experience and wellbeing of all the employees. It has been painted crimson colour, decorated with the FC Barcelona jerseys and a new wall art created by one of the oldest Aquafadas’ employees: Julien Besnard. This new colourful poster shows the history of Aquafadas, the company’s official mascot nutty fish Aqua as well as the japanese and french flags and other landmarks from Tokyo and Montpellier. All of these symbols reflect the Rakuten’s culture, its new partnerships and the link between Japan and France that Rakuten Crimson House Montpellier represents.

The naming ceremony took place in the presence of all the Rakuten Aquafadas employees and the Rakuten Group senior management including the president Yasufumi Hirai, Executive Vice Président, CIO & CISO Rakuten Group; Ken Okamoto, Rakuten General Manager of SSED; Rohit Dewan, Rakuten CTO Technology division, Tsubasa Shiraishi, Rakuten Office Manager and Olivier Alluis, Rakuten Aquafadas CEO. The proud moment has also been attended by the region representatives: Isabelle Prevot, Director, BIC Montpellier; Pierre Deniset, President, FrenchSouth.Digital and Hussein Bourgi, Representative of the President of Occitanie Region, Carole Delga.

Pierre Deniset, FrenchSouth.Digital President 
“FrenchSouth.digital represents 200 companies in the regional digital sector. Rakuten’s installation in Montpellier is an important signal for us and builds on the existing partnership with Japan. The story of Rakuten and Aquafadas strengthens these links and opens up many possibilities for development.“,

Hussein Bourgi, Occitanie Regional representative.
“Today we’re celebrating success of a Montpellier start-up that throughout the years achieved international recognition. Rakuten Aquafadas is a precursor when it comes to the Occitanie Region efforts to develop closer relations with Japan. Since 2017 business leaders and academics have been pursuing researching and prospecting in this market”

Olivier Alluis, CEO, Rakuten Aquafadas
“We’re pleased to see the region representatives joining us for such a significant moment. We’re proud to take the name Rakuten Crimson House Montpellier – the fourth Crimson House in the world after Japan, USA and Singapore. This is a sign of Rakuten’s trust in our innovative technology and their will to build a long-term vision, leveraging the entrepreneurship dynamics in southern Europe. From our new office, we want to be a bridge between Japan and France, two very strong and complementary cultures. “




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