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Wal-Mart acquires startup Luvocracy

WalmartLabs announced Tuesday (July 29) the acquisition of Luvocracy, a social marketplace startup based in Silicon Valley. The retailer notes that this is primarily a talent acquisition as it plans to shutter the Luvocracy website that has been compared as a Pinterest-like experience where friends can recommend products to others.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the startup raised $11 million in funding from the investors such as Kleiner Perkins, Google Venture, Marissa Mayer, Tony Robbins and Ali Pincus. This is Wal-Mart’s 14th startup acquisition since 2011.

CEO Nathan Stoll is among the 16 Luvocracy employees moving to WalmartLabs San Bruno offices. Stoll founded the online business in 2011 after selling his social search company Aardvark to Google in 2010.

Walmart bloggers note that the retail business thrives on finding products they think customers will love and then introducing them to each other. Whether in pages, pixels, or aisles, facilitating such moments is at the very core of what retailers like Wal-Mart are wanting to do.

At Walmart, the Luvocracy team will be tasked with working on projects at a larger scale. Specifically, the team will work to innovate on “design, product and discovery shopping,” the retailer says.

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“There’s no bigger stage in commerce than Walmart, and the opportunity to take our vision of social discovery and decision-making in commerce to their audience of hundreds of millions across the world was incredibly attractive,” Stoll said. “I am super excited about the opportunity to work with the very talented team they’ve been building. Right now, their organization for global e-commerce is about the same size Google was when I joined in 2002 — with the opportunity for huge growth to come as they have so much untapped potential.”


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