WalmartLabs Acquires Ecommerce Startup Adchemy

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

The research & development and innovation end of Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), @WalmartLabs, has acquired the ecommerce startup Adchemy.

The company announced the acquisition in a post published on Monday. The report details the technology branch’s growth. In the past year, it had hired about 1,000 people. Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Jeremy King authored the post. He praised Adchemy for its work before the acquisition.

“Adchemy is a product search company and a leader in e-commerce technology. The company was founded in 2004 in Foster City, California, and over the years has built an impressive team that will help Walmart transform the shopping experience for millions of shoppers each week. This latest acquisition continues our quest to build best-in-class e-commerce capabilities in-house,” wrote King in the post.

King specifically mentioned three employees who would join the @WalmartLabs team; Adchemy’s Vice President of Engineering Rohit Deep, Vice President of Products Ethan Batraski, and Head of Research Esteban Arcaute. Deep is formerly of WebEx. Batraski and Arcaute previously worked at Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO).

@WalmartLabs is the Silicon Valley branch of the big box giant. It’s responsible for the technology in the stores and online at the world’s largest multinational corporation. Its work includes the various Wal-Mart mobile apps and the websites for both Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club, the later of which it recently redesigned. It has also acquired several technology startups in recent years.

The post also lists the company’s previous acquisitions. Adchemy is the company’s 12th acquisition. The latter was founded in 2004 and specializes in product search technology. @WalmartLabs is absorbing the company in its entirety. More than 60 professionals from Adchemy will join the @WalmartLabs team of more than 2,100 individuals. ZDNet noted in its report that this is the largest for the company in terms of personnel headcount.

The acquisition began in 2011 with web search company Kosmix, social media campaign team OneRiot, mobile receipts technology company Grabble, and mobile commerce app company SetDirection. The next year, the company acquired iOS mobile app development agency Small Society and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) app Social Calendar. In 2013, @WalmartLabs acquired social software incubator Tasty Labs, cloud-computing startup OneOps, predictive data analytics company Inkiru, and web acceleration technology firm Torbit. This year, it had already acquired recipe discovery and meal planning tool Yumprint.

The reasoning behind these purchases was for technology improvement and expansion, but also for a business reason. Wal-Mart is looking to compete with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), the reigning king of online sales, reports Silicon Valley Business Journal. While Wal-Mart is a highly profitable company, Amazon outsells it online by a wide margin. However, Wal-Mart’s revenue is growing at a faster rate than Amazon’s, giving hope to the company’s online future. Wal-Mart clearly has its eye on continuing to be a major player in retail both on and offline by making sure it has the technology to do it.

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