@WalmartLabs, the retailer’s Silicon Valley-based R&D and innovation center, is today announcing its 13th acquisition — and its first from New York’s “Silicon Alley” — with the acquisition of fashion app Stylr. The app, which helps consumers find clothes they love in nearby stores, will be shut down. It will be pulled from the iTunes App Store by the end of this month.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but we understand it was more of an acqui-hire related to bringing the talent of the founders, Eytan Daniyalzade and Berk Atikoglu, to Walmart.
Stylr was a smaller company, with only the two founders at the time of the acquisition. The company was backed by $20,000 from DreamIt Ventures, but had no other outside investment.
Both founders are Stanford-educated engineers, and have a history of working in the technology industry. Stylr CTO Atikoglu previously worked at Cisco and Facebook, and Daniyalzade has experience at Adapt.tv, Chartbeat, Microsoft and McKinsey.
As for the app itself, Stylr offered the experience of flipping through a rack of clothes on your smartphone. It pulled in inventory from local stores, letting you find what you want, in your size, then reserve it at the store directly from the app’s interface. The company had grown to include thousands of products from a number of well-known retailers, including Abercrombie & Fitch, American Apparel, American Eagle, Banana Republic, Coach, Gap, Guess, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Steve Madden, The Limited and others.
The technology Stylr developed won’t be integrated into Walmart’s own mobile apps, but Walmart says it will “leverage best practices and insights” that Stylr learned, and that there are “a lot of synergies” between the companies in terms of combining digital capabilities with physical retail. That could imply that Walmart is working — more broadly speaking — in the direction of better tying up its online presence with its retail stores in new ways.
For now, Walmart says Stylr’s co-founders will be tasked with “developing enhancements to the in-store experience.”
Today, the company reports that over half of Walmart smartphone users have used their devices while shopping in the store, and 80 percent of its customers under 35 own a smartphone – and that’s a rapidly growing figure. What really impressed the Walmart team about Stylr in particular was how quickly the team built the app, the overall experience of using it, and the founders’ passion for combining physical and digital retail.
With the app’s shutdown, Stylr’s founders will now be joining @WalmartLabs in San Bruno, Calif.