Walmart Labs feels the Luv(ocracy)
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:
- Nathan Stoll, CEO and co-founder, a former product manager at Google who worked on AdWords, Suggest and News;
- Brooke Thompson, VP of design, who was senior director of design at Yahoo!;
- Christine Martinez, creative director, who is a Pinterest "Power Pinner" with over five million followers and author of "The Complete Idiots Guide to Pinterest Marketing";
- Ajay Agrawal, VP of engineering, who previously served as SVP of engineering at Blurb and also worked at eBay, Microsoft and Oracle.
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.
- Luv and Joy in @WalmartLabs – @Walmart Labs
- We’ve been acquired! Hello @WalmartLabs – Luvocracy
- Walmart Labs ‘Acqhire’ Gives Social Shopping App Luvocracy a Soft Landing – Re/code
- Walmart gently places pillow over Luvocracy’s face – VentureBeat
What do you think of Walmart Labs’ decision to acquire Luvocracy and then shut down the site? Is Walmart Labs having a positive effect on Walmart’s business?