Now Walmart moves into Silicon Valley by buying social media company Kosmix

Walmart, the world’s biggest retailer, seems to be serious about this online business, buying social media specialist Kosmix as the foundation of a new Silicon Valley-based operation @WalmartLabs.

Kosmix filters and organises material for social media for individual users so potentially it offers Walmart an alternative to marketing campaigns on existing social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

The deal looks like a second big payday for entrepreneurs Venky Harinarayan and Anand Rajaran who sold their previous company Junglee to Amazon in 1998 for a reported $250m.

Walmart has discovered the joys of digital in a big way recently, adding digital responsibilities to global CMO Rick Bendel’s duties.

The retail giant, with annual sales of over $400bn, has struggled to expand outside the US (it owns Asda in the UK) and, like a number of other big retailers, seems to have settled on a policy of expanding into new markets first via website sales and following up with a store presence.

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