Walmart Labs buys Torbit to make its sites faster on all devices
By Meghan Kelly, July 24, 2013
(Venture Beat) – Walmart Labs wants to improve Walmart’s website, but instead of buying a product to watch for site-hiccups, it bought a company. Torbit officially joined the Walmart team today, though terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The company noticed Torbit because of its capability to look at a webpage and “rewrite it” to best perform for the browser loading it. That means that whether you’re coming to Walmart’s website from a phone, tablet, or computer, it should adjust to that browser to load as quickly and smoothly as possible.
Torbit lists e-commerce site Wayfair, SendGrid, and AngelList as customers. The company also provides analytics so you can watch your site’s performance and find areas where you could be doing better.
Walmart Labs is Walmart’s effort to become a technology company as well as a retail giant. It wants to include many new technologies into its customer experience — in store and online. In 2011, it purchased Grabble, a point of sale technology focused on mobile. It also grabbed up “big data” startup Inkiru in June, saying they both have an “innovative spirit.” The big data product can detect fraud, help with recommendations, and more.
With this purchase, four new engineers will join Walmart’s team. The company is looking to hire upward of 150 new tech-oriented employees.
Torbit is headquartered in San Mateo, Calif.