@WalmartLabs

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@WalmartLabs
Type Private
Industry Internet
Founded Mountain View, California (2005) [1]
Founder(s) Venky Harinarayan
Anand Rajaraman
Headquarters San Bruno, California,
United States
Area served Worldwide
Key people Jon Miller
(Board)
Theresia Ranzetta
(Board)
Ravi Mhatre
(Board)
Jeffrey P. Bezos
(Private Investor)
Ed Zander
(Private Investor)
Bill Miller
(Private Investor)
Products Kosmix
RightHealth
MeeHive
Tweetbeat
Employees 50+ [2]
Parent Walmart

@WalmartLabs (formerly named Kosmix) is an American privately held company in Mountain View, California. Their website earned revenue from advertising related to its categorization engine. The engine organizes the Internet into topic pages allowing users to explore the Web by topic, "presenting a dashboard of relevant videos, photos, news, commentary, opinion, communities and links to related topics".[1] Venky Harinarayan and Anand Rajaraman founded Kosmix in 2005.[1] In April 2011 Walmart acquired Kosmix and formed @WalmartLabs, a research division, out of it.[3][4]

History[edit]

Harinarayan and Rajaraman were co-founders of Junglee, the first shopping search engine which was acquired by Amazon.com in 1998. They later created Amazon.com’s Mechanical Turk[1] and started an early-stage VC fund, Cambrian Ventures, that backed several companies later acquired by Google.[5]

Kosmix initially introduced health site RightHealth, a vertical search engine, to demonstrate their approach to Web navigation.[1] Kosmix expanded its focus from vertical to a horizontal search engine in June 2008,[1] covering all subjects.[6] For a key word or topic that a user enters, "Kosmix gathers content from across the Web to build a sort of multimedia encyclopedia entry on the fly. The company has built a taxonomy of nearly five million categories on a wide range of topics. The taxonomy includes millions of connections mapping the relationship among those categories." [7]

Kosmix launched a personal news site called MeeHive in March, 2008 which is similar to Google News or MyYahoo!, but allows users to customize their interests to a greater degree.[7] Meehive was shut down in October 2010.[8] Kosmix launched tweetbeat in June 2010 as it entered the social media arena.[9]

Kosmix was acquired by Walmart in April/May 2011 as it opened @WalmartLabs for a rumored amount of 300M US$.[10][11] In June 2012, Harinarayan and Rajaraman announced that they would be leaving the company to take some time off, with no immediate plans.[12]

Financing[edit]

The first funding for Kosmix of 7 million was secured from Lightspeed Venture Partners in November 2005. Their second round of 18 million from Accel Partners and Lightspeed Venture Partners was announced in 2006 followed by a third round of 10 million on behalf of Accel Partners, DAG Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners. A fourth round of funding was secured in December 2008 in the amount of 20 million from Time Warner Investments, Accel Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, DAG Partners and former Motorola CEO Ed Zander. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is also an investor, through Bezos Expeditions.[1]

Growth[edit]

As of March 2008, Kosmix' market-share had grown 730% year-over-year.[13] RightHealth was the #2 health site on the Web, according to Hitwise.

Partnerships[edit]

In June 2007, Kosmix announced a partnership with Revolution Health, in which Revolution Health will utilize Kosmix to enhance content searches on RevolutionHealth.com.[14]

Truveo announced in September 2007 that the company's video search engine is being used by Kosmix to present topic-relevant videos on its health site RightHealth, giving users a starting point to explore health topics.[15]

In April 2011, Kosmix announced a partnership with AskTheDoctor.com, in which AskTheDoctor.com will provide Q & A format medical content for Kosmix's website RightHealth.

Acquisitions[edit]

In October 2009, Kosmix acquired Cruxlux, an engine designed to take any two people, places, or things and tell the user how they are connected. Cruxlux was founded in 2007 by Guha Jayachandran and Curtis Spencer and was in private beta at the time of the acquisition. The terms of the deal are mostly unknown, other than that it was made in both cash and stock.[16]

Products and services[edit]

  • Kosmix
  • MeeHive iPhone app
  • RightHealth
  • TweetBeat

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Kosmix" CrunchBase. Retrieved 24 March 2009. Archived October 16, 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Kosmix" vator.tv. Retrieved 25 March 2009. Archived January 27, 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Goodbye, Kosmix. Hello, @WalmartLabs Archived November 6, 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Wal-Mart's Silicon Valley unit develops new search engine to battle eBay, Amazon - San Jose Mercury News Archived November 4, 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Ranganathan, Chandra and NS Ramnath. "Men Who Spurn Google create Kosmix" The Economic Times. 30 October 2007. Retrieved on 17 March 2009.
  6. ^ Hendrickson, Mark. "Kosmix Goes Horizontal" TechCrunch. 25 June 2008. Retrieved 25 March 2009 Archived January 25, 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ a b Helft, Michael. "Just Don't Compare Kosmix to Google" The New York Times. 14 March 2009. Retrieved on 18 March 2009.
  8. ^ Kosmix Kills Off MeeHive's Custom News Service As It Focuses On TweetBeat | TechCrunch Archived October 13, 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Kosmix Unleashes Its Realtime Tweetbeat On The World Cup | TechCrunch Archived July 28, 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Datawocky: Goodbye, Kosmix. Hello, @WalmartLabs Archived February 9, 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Wal-Mart Stores Paid $300 Million for Social Site Kosmix - Kara Swisher - News - AllThingsD Archived May 6, 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ Geron, Tomio (2012-06-21). "Kosmix Founders Leave @WalmartLabs". Forbes. Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  13. ^ Buley, Taylor. "Life After Google" Forbes.com. 24 March 2009. Retrieved 25 March 2009.
  14. ^ "Kosmix Partners with Revolution Health to Bring Consumers the Most Relevant Health Content on the Web" Businessweek.com. 26 June 2007. Retrieved 25 March 2009. Archived September 2, 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "Truveo Partners with Kosmix to Help Consumers Easily Find Topic Specific Health Videos" Business Wire, 6 September 2007. Retrieved 25 March 2009.
  16. ^ Kincaid, Jason. “Kosmix Acquires Cruxlux, The Online Version Of 'Six Degrees Of Kevin Bacon'” TechCrunch. 19 Oct 2009. Retrieved 25 March 2010 Archived August 28, 2013 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]