Yesterday, Walmart Labs announced it had acquired Luvocracy, an online community that helps members find products based on the recommendations of family, friends and other influencers. Members can then make purchases without leaving the site. What makes this Walmart Labs' purchase different is that it promptly shut down Luvocracy to the public after the deal was announced (terms of which not made public).
Walmart's "idea incubator" appears to have made the deal to hire Luvocracy's staff of 16 including its senior staff:
In a post on The Walmart Labs' Blog, Ben Galbraith, VP of global products, wrote, "We're excited to have this super-talented team bring their knowledge and experience to help us redefine the shopping experience of the future. I can't wait to see the ideas we've been cooking up together come to life in our properties around the world."
A post on the Luvocracy Blog included this: "We're incredibly eager to take our learnings and discovery-based shopping experience to an audience of over 140 million weekly shoppers online and in-stores at Walmart. Under the @Walmart Labs banner — Walmart's innovation hub in Silicon Valley — we're excited to help Walmart shoppers make better and more inspired shopping decisions — potentially a whole new way to shop and experience Walmart.com."
Since its founding in 2010, Walmart Labs has acquired 15 companies. The Luvocracy acquisition is Walmart Labs' fourth of 2014. In February, it acquired Yumprint, a recipe discovery and meal planning service. That preceded the acquisition of Adchemy, an online product search company, in May and Stylr, a company that created a mobile app to help consumers find clothes they like in nearby stores.
How likely is it that Walmart Labs' acquisition of Luvocracy will have a positive effect on redefining the shopper experience in Walmart-owned stores or websites in the future?