Partnerships / Acquisitions

Walmart Buys Israeli Startup Focused On Natural Language Processing

Language Processing

Walmart announced Tuesday (Feb. 26) it has acquired Aspectiva, the Israel-based startup that is focused on natural language processing capabilities.

In a press release, Walmart did not disclose financial terms of the deal. As part of the transaction, Aspectiva will join Walmart’s Store N° 8, which is the incubation unit it rolled out in 2017. The incubation arm is tasked with finding new ideas that will transform commerce through technology. Walmart said the company’s technology will help it enhance the shopping experience across its channel. Aspectiva’s team joined the incubation as of this week and will keep operating in Tel Aviv.

According to Walmart’s Principal of Store N° 8 Lori Flees, Aspectiva’s technology in machine learning and natural language processing will have a “profound” impact on how customers shop in the future. “Israel is a hotbed of tech talent and innovation. We’re thrilled to join the growing community of entrepreneurs in Israel and see it expand within Aspectiva,” Flees said in the press release.

This deal is just the latest in Walmart’s focus on Israel-based tech companies. It has already made investments in Team8, an Israeli think tank and tech incubator, and launched a joint venture with Eko, a media and technology company. Walmart also recently joined The Bridge, a tech accelerator program that connects global companies with the tech startup community in Israel.

“Our team is extremely excited to be joining Store N° 8 and be part of Walmart’s most recent investment in Israel,” said Ezra Daya, CEO of Aspectiva, in the same press release. “Store N° 8’s record of innovation and of developing capabilities that will transform retail as we know it makes for the perfect environment to leverage Aspectiva’s technology throughout the shopping funnel.”

Walmart has been in a battle with Amazon for eCommerce dominance for some time now and has been throwing its weight behind tech to compete. The retailer has been pouring money into technology investments to add convenience to the shopping experience with a particular focus on the startup market in Israel.

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