Walmart Shores Up Social & Mobile Efforts With Kosmix Acquisition

Written on
Apr 19, 2011 
Gavin Dunaway  |

skipping_smallADOTAS – I actually snorted aloud when I heard a Walmart commercial end with the tagline, “Save Money, Live Better,” while buying a sixer at the bodega last night. The clerk nodded and said, “I know — what a stupid slogan.” Then again, both of us live in Brooklyn — we’re used to spending money and living crappy.

The king of big box stores may not have saved money through buying social media curator Kosmix — rumor has it the price tag was around $300 million — but it’s sure hoping to live better in the mobile and social realms.

Just what is a real-time social media curator? Kosmix aggregates content by topic from across the web and social networks. The technology is used for TweetBeat, a real-time social media filter for live events, but could also be used to instantly retrieve a world information for potential consumers on Walmart’s online or mobile website and social media outposts.

Kosmix seemed cool enough that it brought in $55 million in funding from the likes of Time Warner Investments, Accel Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Dag Ventures, Bezos Expeditions, Jon Miller and Ed Zander.

The acquisition will be integrated into new division @Walmart Labs, which is designed to link the social and mobile commerce strategies of the retail giant.

“We are expanding our capabilities in today’s rapidly growing social commerce environment,” said Walmart Vice Chairman Eduardo Castro-Wright. “Social networking and mobile applications are increasingly becoming a part of our customers’ day-to-day lives globally, influencing how they think about shopping.”

Gavin Dunaway is Editor, U.S. at AdMonsters, a leading trade publication, event producer and service provider for the online advertising industry. Previously, he had been Senior Editor of Adotas, where he arrived after years of ping-ponging around various industry publications. This Washington, D.C. native and George Mason University graduate also enjoys playing electric guitar so loud that the walls shake.

Reader Comments.

A board member of Wal-Mart used to be a top exec at Accel and Rob Walton’s son-in-law Greg Penner (also a board member) used to be tied into Accel. The firm and Wal-Mart have a close relationship.

Posted by David Nassar | 4:50 pm on April 19, 2011.

I had never heard of Kosmix before Walmart bought it. I wonder if it will become popular. What do you guys think? -

Posted by Dailey | 3:35 pm on April 27, 2011.

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