Walmart Labs

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Walmart Labs
FoundedKosmix founded in Mountain View, California (2005)[1]
@WalmartLabs (2011)[2]
FounderVenky Harinarayan (Kosmix)
Anand Rajaraman (Kosmix)
Area served
Key people
Jeremy King (Chief technology officer)[3]
ProductsWebsites and apps for Walmart and Sam's Club; Vudu; OneOps; Electrode[4][5][6]
Number of employees
6,000 [7]

Walmart Labs (formerly named Kosmix and @WalmartLabs) is an American subsidiary of Walmart in San Bruno, California. Their website earns 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.[8][9]



Harinarayan and Rajaraman were co-founders of Junglee, the first shopping search engine which was acquired by in 1998.[10] They later created's Mechanical Turk[1] and started an early-stage VC fund, Cambrian Ventures, that backed several companies later acquired by Google.[11]


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] 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.[12] 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." [13]


In June 2007, Kosmix announced a partnership with Revolution Health, in which Revolution Health will utilize Kosmix to enhance content searches on[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] As of March 2008, Kosmix' market-share had grown 730% year-over-year.[16] RightHealth was the #2 health site on the Web, according to Hitwise. 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.[13] Meehive was shut down in October 2010.[17] Kosmix launched tweetbeat in June 2010 as it entered the social media arena.[18]

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.[19]

In April 2011, Kosmix announced a partnership with Ask The Doctor, in which their website would provide Q & A format medical content for Kosmix's website RightHealth.

Acquisition by Walmart[edit]

Kosmix was acquired by Walmart in April/May 2011 and became @WalmartLabs for a rumored amount of $300 million.[20][21] In June 2012, Harinarayan and Rajaraman announced that they would be leaving the company to take some time off, with no immediate plans.[22]

In June 2013, Walmart bought predictive intelligence startup Inkiru to add analytics capabilities.[23] In June 2018, Walmart announced it would hire 2,000 additional employees into Walmart Labs to improve the company's online grocery shopping platform.[7] In July 2019, it acquired health tech startup FloCare and B2B wholesale trading platform BigTrade to bolster its customer service.[24][25]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Kosmix" CrunchBase. Retrieved 24 March 2009. Archived October 16, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Johnson, Lauren (November 18, 2014). "This $473 billion retailer wants to be the next ad-tech star". Adweek. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  3. ^ Konrad, Alex (March 7, 2016). "Walmart's CTO says it wins hiring battles with big tech by not buying the Silicon Valley hype". Forbes. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  4. ^ "Acquisitions". @WalmartLabs. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  5. ^ Marvin, Rob (March 23, 2016). "5 ways @WalmartLabs is revolutionizing mobile retail". PC Magazine. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  6. ^ Lardinois, Frederic (October 3, 2016). "WalmartLabs open sources the application platform that powers". TechCrunch. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  7. ^ a b Hensel, Anna. "Walmart's tech division to add 2,000 employees this year". VentureBeat. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  8. ^ Goodbye, Kosmix. Hello, @WalmartLabs Archived November 6, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ 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
  10. ^ "Amazon to buy two companies". CNET. 1998-08-04. Retrieved 2018-03-07.
  11. ^ Ranganathan, Chandra and NS Ramnath. "Men Who Spurn Google create Kosmix" The Economic Times. 30 October 2007. Retrieved on 17 March 2009.
  12. ^ Hendrickson, Mark. "Kosmix Goes Horizontal" TechCrunch. 25 June 2008. Retrieved 25 March 2009 Archived January 25, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ a b Helft, Michael. "Just Don't Compare Kosmix to Google" The New York Times. 14 March 2009. Retrieved on 18 March 2009.
  14. ^ "Kosmix Partners with Revolution Health to Bring Consumers the Most Relevant Health Content on the Web" 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. ^ Buley, Taylor. "Life After Google" 24 March 2009. Retrieved 25 March 2009.
  17. ^ Kosmix Kills Off MeeHive's Custom News Service As It Focuses On TweetBeat | TechCrunch Archived October 13, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ Kosmix Unleashes Its Realtime Tweetbeat On The World Cup | TechCrunch Archived July 28, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ 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
  20. ^ Datawocky: Goodbye, Kosmix. Hello, @WalmartLabs Archived February 9, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ Wal-Mart Stores Paid $300 Million for Social Site Kosmix - Kara Swisher - News - AllThingsD Archived May 6, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ Geron, Tomio (2012-06-21). "Kosmix Founders Leave @WalmartLabs". Forbes. Retrieved 24 May 2014.
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^ "Walmart Labs acquires two Bengaluru-based startups - ETtech". Retrieved 2020-04-14.

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