Wal-Mart buys mobile app developer Small Society

January 4, 2012

Wal-Mart Stores – or rather @WalmartLabs, the Silicon Valley-based e-commerce unit of the largest retailer – unveiled its latest acquisition on Wednesday. 

Small Society develops apps for smart phones – something @WalmartLabs is very interested in. Wal-Mart did not disclose a purchase price, but the deal looks like a combination of an acquisition and the hiring of all or most of the start-up’s software developers.

The Portland, Oregon-based firm has developed apps for the Democratic National Committee, Starbucks and Zipcar.

The Zipcar app seems to have particularly impressed @WalmartLabs, led by tech entrepreneurs including Anand Rajaraman, Venky Harinarayan and Gibu Thomas.

“The app is a spot-on intersection of technology, brand and business,” @WalmartLabs wrote in a blog. “It enables Zipcar members to find and book a Zipcar quickly, but also to honk the horn and lock or unlock the doors—all from their iPhone.”

@WalmartLabs hopes that Small Society will develope similarly nifty apps for Wal-Mart shoppers now.

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