Digital Expansion: Walmart Buys Search Firm Kosmix


Continuing to build its digital presence, Wal-Mart announced the acquisition of search technology firm Kosmix. Led by founders Venky Harinarayan and Anand Rajaraman, Kosmix will now operate as part of the newly formed @WalmartLabs and remain in Silicon Valley.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Kosmix has raised more than $55 million from Time Warner and Jeff Bezos.

Long billed as a health-focused vertical search firm, Mountain View, Calif.-based Kosmix, has also developed a social media technology platform that filters and organizes content across various social networks.

Kosmix also recently launched TweetBeat, a real-time social media filter for live events, which it says attracted more than 5 million visits last month. The company continues to operate RightHealth, a health and medical information Web site.

"Our work has focused on developing a social genome platform that captures the connections between people, places, topics, products and events as expressed through social media," says Rajaraman.

Wal-Mart said it plans to expand the @WalmartLabs team and expects the new group to foster technologies and businesses around social and mobile commerce.

Presently, Wal-Mart operates retail businesses in 15 countries and e-commerce businesses in nine countries. Last February, Wal-Mart purchased Vudu, another Silicon Valley startup whose 3-year-old online movie service has been built into a number of TVs and Blu-ray players.


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