Walmart's social commerce gets 'Kosmix' intervention

BRISBANE, Calif. — Walmart announced that it has acquired the services of Kosmix, a Mountain View, Calif.-based company, to grow its multichannel strategy.

Kosmix's founders Venky Harinarayan and Anand Rajaraman will lead the newly formed @WalmartLabs, based in Silicon Valley, which Walmart said will create technologies and businesses around social and mobile commerce that will support Walmart’s global multichannel strategy, which integrates the shopping experience between bricks-and-mortar stores and e-commerce. Harinarayan and Rajaraman are early pioneers of online shopping; their first company, Junglee, was acquired by Amazon.com in 1998.

“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.”

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, and the company anticipates it will close during the first half of this year.