Bloomberg Billionaires Index

View profiles for each of the world’s 500 richest people, see the biggest movers, and compare fortunes or track returns.

#247 Hiroshi Mikitani $6.61B

Random fact: Was captain of his university tennis club. Almost turned pro.

Overview

Mikitani is the founder and chairman of Rakuten, a Japanese online retailer with more than 1 billion registered global users. The Tokyo-based company provides more than 70 business services, including e-commerce website Rakuten and messenger app Viber. It reported revenue of 781.9 billion yen ($7.2 billion) in 2016.

As of Oct. 17, 2017:
Last change +$40.2M (+0.6%)
YTD change +$808M (+13.9%)
Industry Retail
Biggest asset 4755 JP Equity
Citizenship Japan
Age 52
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Hiroshi Mikitani's net worth of $6.61B can buy ...

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of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
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of U.S. existing home sales
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Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
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Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Mikitani's fortune is derived from his 37 percent stake in Rakuten, a Japanese online retailer with over 1 billion registered global users, according to its website. The Tokyo-based company offers more than 70 business services, including e-commerce website Rakuten and messenger app Viber, and reported revenue of 781.9 billion yen ($7.2 billion) in 2016, according to financial data disclosed on the company website. 

Mikitani owns the shares directly, through his wife, Haruko Mikitani, and Tokyo-based consulting company Crimson Group, according to the company's 2016 annual securities report. He's credited with the shares held by his family to reflect his status as chairman and founder.

Through Crimson Group, Mikitani also has a 4.9 percent stake in Zappallas, which provides Internet content for mobile phones, according to a quarterly report for the period ended Oct. 31, 2016.

Mikitani directly owns a less than 1 percent stake in Premium Water Holdings, which provides natural mineral water delivery services, according to an annual report for the year to March 31, 2017.

Through his wife, he also has a less than 1 percent stake in Trust Co. that operates an Internet website that exports and sells used cars, according to an annual report for the year to March 31, 2017.  The value of his cash holdings is based on an analysis of calculated dividends, market performance and taxes.

Dean Kirkness, spokesman for Rakuten, confirmed Mikitani's shareholdings in the company.

Biography

Birthdate: 3/11/1965
Family: Married, 2 children
Education: 5/1993, Harvard Business School, MBA 3/1988, Hitotsubashi University, Bachelor's Degree

Mikitani was born in the city of Kobe, Japan, on March 11, 1965, the son of an economist; his uncle owned a successful mail-order catalog business. He graduated from Hitotsubashi University with a bachelor's degree in commerce in 1988, and was recruited to work for the Industrial Bank of Japan as an investment banker. The bank sponsored him when he obtained an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1993.

Mikitani returned to Tokyo to serve out his two-year obligation with the Industrial Bank of Japan in return for funding his Harvard education. On Jan. 17, 1995, a 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck his hometown of Kobe, killing, 6,434 people, including an uncle, aunt and several friends. He soon left the bank and started a consulting company, Crimson Group, and founded Rakuten, named after a 16th century marketplace in feudal Japan called Rakuichi Rakuza. During the day, Mikitani worked as consultant. At night, he and five employees built their online retail website.

In 1997, most major Internet providers in Japan charged $3,000 a month, plus a 15 percent sales commission, to set up and maintain a platform for retailers who wanted to sell goods online. Mikitani gave merchants access to Internet shoppers for just $500 a month with no commission, so long as they paid six months of fees upfront. Three years later, Mikitani sold Rakuten shares in an initial public offering on the JASDAQ. The company became Japan's largest cybermall.

Since 2010, Mikitani has invested about $1 billion acquiring online businesses overseas. That year, he required that all employees become fluent in English by 2012 to extend Rakuten's global reach. Employee promotions are dependent on passing language tests.

Milestones
  • 1965 Hiroshi Mikitani born in Kobe, Japan, to an economist and his wife.
  • 1988 Graduates from Hitotsubashi University with degree in commerce.
  • 1988 Joins the Industrial Bank of Japan as an investment banker.
  • 1993 Earns MBA from Harvard Business School.
  • 1995 A 6.8 magnitude earthquake hits Kobe, killing relatives and friends.
  • 1997 Starts Rakuten Ichiba online mall with six employees.
  • 2000 Rakuten sells shares in an initial public offering on the JASDAQ.
  • 2014 Receives L’Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur from France.