Walmart, via its Silicon Valley innovation lab @WalmartLabs, today announced the acquisition of two startups: cloud computing newcomer OneOps and the software development shop Tasty Labs, from Delicious founder Joshua Schachter. Tasty Labs offered two services Jig.com and Human.io – both domains which are now redirecting to Walmart’s acquisition announcement, along with that of their corporate parent.
Walmart declined to disclose deal terms.
OneOps developed a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) capability that Walmart explains will enable it to “significantly accelerate” its PaaS and Private Cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) strategies. The company offered developer tools built from the ground up for those who host their applications on cloud services like Amazon Web Services, for example, as well as Rackspace and HP Cloud. Developers could publish to any cloud and seamlessly port their apps elsewhere as needed, eliminating lock-in.
The company offered a library of predefined building blocks to quickly bootstrap an application, which could be visually assembled in its interface. A variety of categories such as content management (ex. Drupal, WordPress), e-commerce (ex. Magento), enterprise portals (ex. Liferay) and more were available.
“Walmart is looking to create a best-in-class global e-commerce platform to power ‘anytime, anywhere’ shopping for our customers. The Platform team has been working tirelessly to build the tools to help our developers deliver big site changes faster,” explains Walmart Public Relations Director Ravi Jariwala in a statement. “We are innovating on a very large scale, and OneOps brings us tools that will allow us to move even faster toward a global platform.”
Meanwhile, Tasty Labs was founded in 2010 by a team that includes ex-Mozillian Nick Nguyen, HousingMaps creator Paul Rademacher, and Joshua Schachter, who was best known for founding of of “web 2.0″‘s finest: the social bookmarking service Delicious. The company had raised $3 million in Series A funding from Union Square Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, and other unnamed angel investors.
The startup launched its first product Jig.com in 2011, which was described as a “marketplace for needs” — meaning users would post “I need…” and others would respond to help them. The following year, it debuted Human.io, a micro-task service operating in the same general space. This application targeted businesses with small requests – like wanting to know how many people were in line at a store, for example, or getting people to take short surveys on their phone.
Schachter once described Human.io as a way to “build tiny little microapps and distribute them to a mobile client.” He said it was a combination of things the team loved: “Mobile, Mechanical Turk, MapReduce, and Twilio.”
Going forward, Tasty Labs staff will join Walmart’s Product and Mobile teams, Walmart says, in an effort to build out the company’s e-commerce platform.
Walmart Labs is known for snapping up early-stage startups to test new ideas in e-commerce some of which eventually get folded into the company’s e-commerce site and other online operations. In the past, it has acquired startups like Kosmix, OneRiot, Grabble, Small Society and others. Kosmix’s Social Genome technology was used in an earlier @WalmartLabs creation known as “Shopycat,” a social-gifting platform that debuted just before the 2011 holiday season, and Kosmix later formed the basis of a new search engine named “Polaris,” which now powers Walmart.com.