Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten Inc. said late Thursday it had struck a deal for a stake in Lyft, the San Francisco-based ride-sharing app maker. Rakuten said it would pay $300 million for an 11.9% stake in the start-up. Rakuten founder and chief executive, Hiroshi Mikitani, said in a statement: "We have seen the future and this is it. By empowering human connection, the sharing economy is going to fundamentally transform the service industry and benefit society." Shares of Rakuten were up 1.2% in late-morning Tokyo trade, ahead of a 0.9% rise for the broad Topix First Section index, but trailing a 1.4% rise for the blue-chip Nikkei Stock Average .
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