Walmart Labs buys two startups to spruce up its customer service

Photo: Reuters

Walmart Labs has bought two startups to strengthen its customer service.

The technology arm of the US retail giant has acqui-hired health tech startup FloCare and B2B wholesale trading platform BigTrade, for undisclosed amounts. Acqui-hires are typically made for the skills of the team, rather than for the product.

Acqui-hires have become common across big companies and startups as it provides them with qualified engineering and other talented teams at lower costs. Walmart Labs acqui-hired Appsfly last year, followed by Inti.ai in December and DataTurk in February.

As part of the latest transaction, some founders and team members of the two companies will join Walmart Labs in the customer and supply chain technology teams, respectively. Karthik G., Piyush Madan and Varsha Patil from FloCare who were part of the core engineering team have already joined the customer technology team at Walmart Labs. They will work in the health and wellness space and digitization of retail services.

On the other hand, founders of BigTrade, Sunil Soni and Kiran Lingam have joined the supply chain technology team at Walmart Labs.

“It feels great to add terrific minds from the startup ecosystem in India to our growing team,” said Hari Vasudev, centre head and vice president of technology at Walmart Labs India.

“FloCare and BigTrade teams will strengthen our capabilities as we strive to build omnichannel customer experiences around the globe.”

FloCare was founded by former Google employees and funded by Accel Partners. According to LinkedIn, the FloCare platform enables healthcare services to come together and make ‘ageing at home’ more affordable and scalable. Karthik, Madan and Patil have been brought in to Walmart Labs exclusively for their engineering and customer experience capabilities.

BigTrade, on its part, provides business solutions from the discovery of the product or supplier to the payment of a product for businesses. Founder Soni has joined Walmart Labs as an architect and is responsible for working on network optimizations and forecasting solutions for warehouse management, whereas the other founder Lingam is with the supply chain team as a product manager and is responsible for building the next generation of warehousing and transportation solutions for the company.

This article was first published on livemint.com.