Walmart buys social media start-up

The largest retailer in the world, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., has announced it will buy the e-commerce social media start-up Kosmix for an undisclosed sum, The New York Times reported today.

Kosmix, created in 2005, works as a social media filter by aggregating information by topic from websites, Twitter feeds and more in real time, the article explained. By doing this, it can search for new information to give to shoppers in real time.

The U.S.-based retailer is “joining other multinationals seeking to set up outposts in Silicon Valley in order to tap into engineering talent and new ideas” in the social media realm, according to The Financial Times.

“Social networking and mobile applications are increasingly becoming a part of our customers’ day-to-day lives globally, influencing how they think about shopping, both online and in retail stores,” Eduardo Castro-Wright, Walmart’s vice chairman, said in a statement.

Kosmix was founded by online shopping entrepreneurs Venky Harinarayan and Anand Rajaraman, who sold their first company, Junglee, to Amazon in 1998 for a reported US$250 million.

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