Retailing giant acquires platform that focuses on social media data.
Wal-Mart has agreed to buy the social media and search platform Kosmix in a move the retailer says shows its dedication to new media. Kosmix founders Venky Harinarayan and Anand Rajaraman are joining the big box merchant's e-commerce operations in Brisbane, CA, where they are launching an "@WalmartLabs" team.
Harinarayan and Rajaraman were co-founders of Junglee, a shopping engine that was acquired by Amazon.com in 1998. Their @WalmartLabs effort is being designed to create technologies that propel the multi-channel brand as a social-mobile commerce player in the years to come.
"We are expanding our capabilities in today's rapidly growing social commerce environment," Eduardo Castro-Wright, Wal-Mart's vice chairman, said in a prepared release. "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."
In addition to Harinarayan and Rajaraman's seasoned online marketing perspectives, there appear to be three other key pieces in the acquisition.
First, Kosmix's technology gathers and analyzes social connections in real-time data streams. The platform offers TweetBeat.com, a social media filtering site for consumers who are interested in live events. The Mountain View, CA-based firm's website describes how it processes social media data: "On any given day, people share 830 million items on Facebook, upload 6.1 million photos to Flickr, add 2.1 million minutes of video to YouTube and send 65 million tweets. Kosmix cuts through this noise to find content that matters to you."
Secondly, Kosmix.com allows viewers to search social content by topic. And lastly, RightHealth.com is a vertical search engine focusing on health and medical information.
According to an eMoney report, Kosmix has raised $55 million during recent years from Time Warner Investments, Accel Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Dag Ventures, Bezos Expeditions, Jon Miller, and Ed Zander.
Wal-Mart and the six-year-old Kosmix didn't reveal financial details of the acquisition.
Learn Digital Marketing Insights From Leading Brands!
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda, or register and attend one of the best ClickZ events yet!
Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.
Singapore, 3-4 November
Hong Kong, 8-9 December
Hong Kong, 8-9 December
Google My Business Listings Demystified
To help brands control how they appear online, Google has developed a new offering: Google My Business Locations. This whitepaper helps marketers understand how to use this powerful new tool.
5 Ways to Personalize Beyond the Subject Line
82 percent of shoppers say they would buy more items from a brand if the emails they sent were more personalized. This white paper offer five tactics that will personalize your email beyond the subject line and drive real business growth.
November 19, 2014
1:00pm ET/10:00am PT