In first Israeli acquisition, Walmart purchases start-up Aspectiva

February 27, 2019 04:24

An employee pushes shopping carts outside a Walmart store in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., November 20, 2018. (photo credit: KAMIL KRACZYNSKI/ REUTERS)


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American retail giant Walmart has acquired Tel Aviv-based product review start-up Aspectiva for an undisclosed sum, the corporation announced on Tuesday.

The company, Walmart’s first acquisition in Israel, will join Walmart’s “Store No. 8” incubation arm but will continue to operate from its Tel Aviv offices under the agreement.

Aspectiva, established in 2013 by Ezra Daya and Eyal Hurwitz, utilizes artificial intelligence and natural language processing technology to analyze large volumes of consumer opinions and turn data into valuable insights and informed recommendations for purchasers. 

"Aspectiva has developed incredibly sophisticated machine-learning techniques and natural language processing capabilities, both of which are areas we believe will have profound impact on how customers will shop in the future," said Lori Flees, Principal of Store No 8.  
"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," said Flees.

Launched in 2017, Store N° 8 aims to develop retail-related technologies through its portfolio of companies, ultimately seeking to create strategic assets for Walmart in the long-term.  

“Our team is extremely excited to be joining Store N° 8 and be part of Walmart’s most recent investment in Israel," said Aspectiva CEO Ezra Daya. 

"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." 

Aspectiva has raised $4 million in funding to date, in a round led by Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), and joined by Global Brain, Union Five, LivePerson and Re-Invent. The company spent its early days at the JVP Media Labs in Jerusalem.

“As the lead investor in the company, we’re thrilled that Walmart has chosen to acquire Aspectiva, a portfolio company of JVP, founded and grown in our JVP Labs in Jerusalem,” JVP said.

“We are proud of our JVP Partner and Aspectiva board member, Haim Kopans, who has been leading the company since inception until its successful acquisition today. We believe that this will bring new jobs and opportunities to Israel and serve as an additional example of how Israeli innovation is helping shape our world, by bringing together disruptive technologies and key global markets.”

While the deal represents Walmart’s first acquisition in Israel, the Arkansas-headquartered retailer has been becoming increasingly active in the country in recent months.

In October 2018, Walmart announced a strategic investment in cybersecurity venture platform Team8 and also set up a joint venture with Tel Aviv interactive video firm Eko. It has also recently joined The Bridge, a technology accelerator connecting global companies with the hi-tech start-up community in Israel.

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