Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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# 363 Hiroshi Mikitani $5.30B

Random fact: Awarded Legion of Honour from the French government.

Overview

Mikitani is the founder and chairman of Rakuten, a Japanese online retailer with almost 1.3 billion users worldwide. The Tokyo-based company provides more than 70 business services, including e-commerce website Rakuten and messenger app Viber. It reported revenue of 1.1 trillion yen ($10 billion) in 2018.

As of :
Last change +$14.6M ( +0.3%)
YTD change +$1.13B ( +27.0%)
Industry Retail
Biggest asset 4755 JP Equity
Citizenship Japan
Age 54
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Hiroshi Mikitani's net worth of $5.30B can buy ...

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of the GDP of the United States
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of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
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of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
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of U.S. existing home sales
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times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Mikitani's fortune is derived from a 37 percent stake in Rakuten, a Japanese online retailer with almost 1.3 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 1.1 trillion yen ($10 billion) in 2018, according to its website.

Mikitani owns the shares directly, through his wife, Haruko Mikitani, and wholly-owned Tokyo-based consulting company Crimson Group, according to the company's 2019 March corporate governance 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 content for mobile phones, according to the company's July 2018 third-quarter securities report.

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 the company's 2018 annual securities report.

The value of his cash investments is based on an analysis of dividends, insider transactions, taxes and market performance.

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

Biography

Birthdate: 3/11/1965
Family: Married, 2 children
Education: Hitotsubashi University, Harvard Business School

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.