The world’s largest retailer, Walmart Inc, seems dead serious about strengthening its foothold in India. Walmart, which agreed to acquire homegrown ecommerce platform Flipkart in May, is now looking to make a tech acquisition to strengthen its technology unit, Walmart Labs.
According to a report, Walmart Labs is mostly looking for acqui-hires and niche tech-product startups. Acqui-hiring refers to the practice of buying a company in a cut-price deal, primarily for the purpose of “hiring” the company’s founders and key employees.
The acquisition will, however, be of a much smaller size compared to its investment of $16 Bn to buy a 77% stake in Flipkart.
Walmart chief technology officer Jeremy King, in an interview at its Silicon Valley office, said, “I’m looking at (acquisition candidates) in merchandising, machine learning right now.”
Walmart Labs has one of its three global offices in Bengaluru where 90% of its work for India is executed. The office has a competitive intelligence and analytics team to push its innovation. It also has a team for sourcing that understands which warehouse to pull items from when a person orders, among other works.
According to King, the Walmart Labs is currently hiring engineers with expertise on machine learning (ML), merchandise, supply chain, data science, product managers and cloud experts.