Kosmix Acquired by Walmart in Retail Giant's Quest for Social

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Walmart announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire Kosmix, which has a social media platform for filtering and organizing social network content, called the Social Genome.

The platform, currently runs on TweetBeat, Kosmix.com, and RightHealth. According to Kosmix co-founder Venky Harinarayan, these properties combined to serve over 17.5 million unique visitors worldwide.

"Quite a few of us at Kosmix have backgrounds in ecommerce, having worked at companies such as Amazon.com and eBay," said Harinarayan. Kosmix was founded by the founders of Junglee, which was acquired by Amazon 13 years ago.

"As we worked on the Social Genome platform, it became apparent to us that this platform could transform ecommerce by providing an unprecedented level of understanding about customers and products, going well beyond purchase data. The Social Genome enables us to take search, personalization and recommendations to the next level."

Hence, why Walmart was interested.

"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 team will be joining as part of Walmart's new @WalmartLabs team - a new social unit.

"The world of social media is exploding and for millions of consumers their social connections matter hugely in their daily lives," said Kosmix co-founder Anand Rajaraman.

Earlier this month, word came out indicating that Walmart may also be getting into an e-grocery service, which would include delivery. This would compete directly with Amazon Fresh, a similar service from the e-commerce giant.

Clearly Walmart is making big moves in the online world.

Financial terms of Kosmix acquisition were not revealed, but it is expected to close in the first half of the year.

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

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