After acquiring 77% stake in Flipkart in world’s largest e-commerce acquisition to date, Walmart is proactively looking to acquire more tech startups in India in the product segment, reported Live Mint.
Walmart Labs, which is the technology unit of the world’s largest retailer, is essentially looking for acqui-hiring niche tech-product startups, meaning that the startups have to be strategic to Walmart’s business.
According to Walmart chief technology officer Jeremy King, the company is currently looking for companies working in merchandising and machine learning. Jeremy also revealed in an interview that Walmart was close to doing a couple of acquisitions of Indian firms working in competitive intelligence however it failed as Walmart felt that those companies were not perfect fit.
So far Walmart Labs has made a total of 14 acquisition with last acquisition made, in 2015, of PunchTab which is an engagement & insights platform, helps brands connect to & understand consumers, delivering actionable insights & increasing.
Interestingly, Walmart Labs, which wants to do tech acquisition in India, was formerly named as Kosmix founded by Indian-origin entrepreneurs – Venky Harinarayan and Anand Rajaraman in 2005. It was then acquired by Walmart in May 2011, for a rumored amount of $300 million, to form a research division out of it and naming it “@WalmartLabs” .
In the same year of 2011, Walmart Labs set up its centre in Bengaluru, as one of its three main offices globally. And, in June 2012, Harinarayan and Rajaraman announced that they would be leaving the company to take some time off, with no immediate plans.
Since 2011, Walmart Lab’s Bengaluru office has rapidly added staff and expanded the scope of work that it handles. It now works on payments software, machine learning applications, supply chain systems, tech work for a Walmart-owned retail chain Sam’s Club and its UK supermarket chain Asda, among others.
Walmart Labs is accelerating their development to redefine the shopping experience to meet the changing needs of its customers wherever they are — in a store, on website, or on mobile device.
[Top Image – Walmart Labs India Youtube Channel]
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