Walmart snaps up big data startup Inkiru

Walmart adds big data for its data scientists to sharpen its e-commerce play.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

US retailer Walmart has acquired analytics startup Inkiru to help build its e-commerce capabilities and rival Amazon's online success.

The startup is joining WalmartLabs, the technology arm of Walmart Global eCommerce and gives the traditionally bricks and mortar retailer a predictive analytics platform to improve its site personalisation, search, fraud prevention and marketing.

Walmart has e-commerce sites in 10 markets and over 10,700 stores across the world, which it hopes to use in tandem to improve its e-commerce business. The company has a same day delivery grocery service in the US, which is still in beta, and earlier this year launched a locker service similar to Amazon's Locker pickup service.    

Earlier this week, Walmart chief Mike Duke announced the company planned expected global e-commerce sales to hit $10bn in financial year 2013. However, e-commerce is still dwarfed by the $466bn it expects to earn this year.

Inkiru will be used by Walmart's data scientists, who will be joined by several of the acquired companies own data scientists behind the platform.

The big data startup is WalmartLabs' third acquisition since May, which included platform-as-a-service OneOps, and social startup Tasty Labs.

The company that it is pursuing online is king of e-commerce, Amazon, whose revenues are still dwarfed by Walmart's overall figures, but well ahead of Walmart online. Amazon reported $16.14bn revenues in the first quarter of 2013.

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