Wal-Mart Buys Kosmix, Forms @WalmartLabs
The Brisbane, CA-based online operation of Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT) said today that the company has acquired Kosmix, a Mountain View, CA-based startup that helps users filter social media updates by topic. Kosmix founders Venky Harinarayan and Anand Rajaraman, who sold their first startup Junglee to Amazon in 1998, will join Wal-Mart as part of a new group called @WalmartLabs, which will “create technologies and businesses around social and mobile commerce that will support Walmart’s global multi-channel strategy,” according an an announcement. “Social networking and mobile applications are increasingly becoming a part of our customers’ day-to-day lives globally, influencing how they think about shopping, both online and in retail stores,” Wal-Mart vice chairman Eduardo Castro-Wright said in the announcement. “We are excited to have the Kosmix team join us to accelerate the development of our social and mobile commerce offerings.” The financial details of the purchase were not disclosed. Kosmix had raised $55 million in venture funding from Accel Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, DAG Ventures, Bezos Expeditions, Time Warner Investments, and individual investors.