Walmart continues digital push, acquires virtual reality startup Spatialand

Walmart continues its thrust beyond brick-and-mortar into digital space and the startup Spatialand announnced that it was being acquired by Walmart’s digital arm, Store No 8.

Store No 8 is an innovation hub formed by the world’s largest retailer. It is designed to be a stand-alone entity and an innovation ecosystem where “new ideas can thrive outside the existing definitions of retail.”

According to the announncement

VR” is an industry buzzword right now. And the majority of the technology that has been created in this space has been focused on the development of hardware and content for spaces such as gaming and entertainment, ignoring the range of possibilities available in retail. At our core, we are merchandisers and storytellers which drives us to believe that virtual reality has the potential to reinvent the consumer experience—with an experience we call contextual commerce.

Today, we are thrilled to announce our acquisition of Spatialand, which will create the foundation of Store No 8’s third portfolio company. The new venture will operate in stealth with Kim and Jeremy at the helm as co-founders. I’m proud to join this team as well, as interim CEO, in addition to my role as Principal of Store No 8. The team will develop and explore new products and uses of VR through immersive retail environments that can be incorporated by all facets of Walmart, online and offline.

According to ReCode  “Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but it is believed to be a relatively small deal. Other Store No. 8 projects include a personal shopping service run by Rent the Runway founder Jenny Fleiss and an initiative to build a cashierless store like Amazon Go, run by co-founder Mike Hanrahan.”

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