Walmart creates its own social media startup

Kosmix image
@WalmartLabs image

Evernote, LinkedIn, Mint….Walmart? The retail giant is now among Mountain View’s leading startup companies following its purchase of Kosmix, the company behind real-time Twitter filter site TweetBeat, medical search engine RightHealth, and topic-specific engine Kosmix. The company has now been transformed into Walmart’s @WalmartLabs division, which aims to create technologies and businesses around social and mobile commerce.

Kosmix founders Venky Harinarayan and Anand Rajaraman, as well as the entire Kosmix team, are expected to stay on-board as part of the newly formed @WalmartLabs. Walmart hopes this division will better integrate the shopping experience between bricks and mortar stores and e-commerce.

“The world of social media is exploding and for millions of consumers their social connections matter hugely in their daily lives,” said Anand Rajaraman, co-founder of Kosmix. “Our work has focused on developing a social genome platform that captures the connections between people, places, topics, products and events as expressed through social media — be it a feed, a tweet or a post. We are thrilled to join one of the world’s largest companies and combine our work with Walmart’s vast online and offline retail businesses.”

Officially, terms of the agreement have not disclosed, but AllThingD reports the retailer paid more than $300 million for Kosmix. @WalmartLabs is expected to remain in Kosmix’s Mountain View headquarters.

“We are expanding our capabilities in today’s rapidly growing social commerce environment,” said
Eduardo Castro-Wright, Walmart’s vice chairman. “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. We are excited to have the Kosmix team join us to accelerate the development of our social and mobile commerce offerings.”

Get an upbeat introduction to @WalmartLabs via the video below.

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Written by David Lux

David is a blogger, marketer, and spends copious hours devouring content concerning autos, tech, and then more autos. You can follow him on Twitter: @autocontent
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