May 15, 2013, 12:29 PM

Wal-Mart beefs up e-commerce with two acquisitions and plans to hire 150

The founders of OneOps and Tasty Labs will join the @WalmartLabs team.

Lead Photo

The e-retailer's HQ in Silicon Valley.

Multichannel retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has bought two technology companies to add to its e-commerce research and technology arm @WalmartLabs.

OneOps builds cloud-based, automated software to help speed up the process of developing new e-commerce products for customers. Tasty Labs is a social media software development firm. Wal-Mart did not say how it paid for either company.

“These additions show our commitment to delivering best-in-class technology by attracting some of the best people in Silicon Valley,” writes Jeremy King, chief technology officer and senior vice president of global e-commerce at Walmart.com, in a blog.

The retail chain also plans to hire more than 150 engineering and technology staffers in the Bay Area by July, a spokeswoman says. While Wal-Mart is based in Bentonville, AR, its e-commerce operation employs 1,500 staffers in Silicon Valley, most based at Walmart.com headquarters in San Bruno, CA.

OneOps’ three co-founders, Kire Filipovski, Vitaliy Zinchenko and Mike Schwankl, will join @WalmartLabs, Wal-Mart says. The three founders of Tasty Labs will also join @WalmartLabs, the retailer says. Nick Nguyen and Paul Rademacher will become full-time employees and Joshua Schachter will serve as a consultant.

Wal-Mart did not immediately respond to a request for details on what their jobs will be.

"OneOps makes developing and launching applications on the global platform faster, so Walmart’s engineers can work more efficiently and get projects launched more efficiently," the spokeswoman says. Meanwhile, the acquisition of Tasty Labs is primarily to add talent around customer experience, social and mobile as the retailer works to connect those elements between the web and stores, she says.

The retail chain has been steadily adding social elements to Walmart.com. For example, earlier this month it added a web site feature that shows Walmart.com shoppers which products are trending on social networks. Walmart.com in 2012 averaged more than 2.1 million unique monthly visitors from social networks and those consumers generated nearly $75.7 million  in sales over the course of the year, according to Internet Retailer estimates in the 2013 Social Media 300 Guide.

The retailer has acquired about a half-dozen technology startups since founding @WalmartLabs in 2011 and is on track to reach $9 billion in global e-commerce sales this year, it says.

Walmart.com is No. 4 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide and No. 134 in the Social Media 300, which ranks retailers by the percentage of traffic to their web sites from social networks.

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