Walmart Launching Investment Arm To Fund E-Commerce Innovation
Even as e-commerce presents a threat to retailers, it also offers a solution. Walmart's answer to the growing demand for e-commerce is Store No. 8, its latest investment arm. The venture will launch internal e-commerce concepts to help boost online sales.
The world’s largest retailer has been aggressively working to revamp and expand its online business to combat e-commerce behemoth Amazon.com, buying fast-growing e-commerce startup Jet.com for $3.3B last year. When Walmart acquired the online startup in August, it also bought its proprietary technology and customer data, including access to Jet’s growing customer base, which accounts for more than 400,000 new visitors a month. The retailer also acquired online women’s apparel company ModCloth to further its expansion, the New York Times reports.
Store No. 8 is headed by Jet corporate development head Katie Finnegan and former Walmart senior vice president of global marketplace and digital store operations Seth Beal. Through this investment vehicle, Walmart aims to build relationships with tech entrepreneurs with expertise in emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles.
Walmart has yet to announce how much money the new venture is looking to raise, nor how much it will commit to the fund.