Walmart Is Gobbling Up Faltering Tech Startups For Everyday Low Prices

Yahoo may have cemented its reputation as a dumping ground for failed mobile startups, but Walmart is staking out a similar renown with shopping startups. Over the last few months, the nation's favorite predatory retailer has been buying up some Silicon Valley e-commerce cruft.

@WalmartLabs, the company's San Bruno-based tech division, announced today that they acquired Luvocracy, a floundering social shopping site backed by some of the Valley's biggest names. According to Re/code:

The terms of the deal aren't being disclosed, but it is essentially a soft landing for the 16-person team behind Luvocracy. Walmart plans to shut down the service. [...]

Founded in 2011, Luvocracy had been adjusting headcount and reallocating resources this year in an attempt to find a sustainable model for the business, according to a person familiar with the company. Ultimately it decided to sell instead of attempting to continue trying to go it alone.

The Luvocracy investor bail out is Walmart's latest in a recent string of acquisitions that began in May. First, Walmart bought Adchemy, a fashion-centric adtech startup with over $120 million in funding. Then the company bought Stylr, a shopping app that was promptly shut down after the sale.

Luvocracy raised over $11 million in funding, from sources including Kleiner Perkins, Google Ventures, and the TechCrunch-contected CrunchFund—evidentially not enough money to help it succeed.

However, Marissa Mayer will not be disappointed in missing out on the Luvocracy acquisition. The Yahoo CEO had invested in the company's series A round, and will almost certainly be seeing a small return on her investment.

To contact the author of this post, please email kevin@valleywag.com.