Online restaurant search site Gurunavi has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten to boost the capital and business alliance between them.

In July 2018, the retailer signed the capital and business alliance agreement to acquire a 9.60% stake in Gurunavi.

As part of the latest deal, both companies have focused on expanding online reservations, enhancing convenience of Gurunavi sites leveraging their expertise, using the data collected and accumulated by both the parties, enhancing sales and referrals to services of both businesses to each customer and member restaurants.

In addition, the Japanese retailer plans to buy shares held by Gurunavi chairman and representative director Hisao Taki making the proportion of voting rights equivalent to 15%.

“As part of the latest deal, both companies have focused on expanding online reservations.”

Furthermore, the online restaurant search site will submit a proposal for electing directors at its 30th annual general meeting of shareholders to be held on 19 June.

Rakuten will appoint two or three persons as candidates for director, which will include representative directors, and outside directors.

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Executive directors will be abolished in a bid to strengthen the executive officer system, while the management system will be changed by transferring authority to executive officers.

In October last year, Gurunavi Member IDs and Rakuten Member IDs established a partnership and promoted the business alliance with a focus on online reservations allowing customers to earn Rakuten Super Points for Gurunavi’s online reservations.