WalmartLabs acquires website optimization startup Torbit to speed up its own site
By Emil Protalinski, July 24, 2013
(The Next Web) – Walmart’s Silicon Valley innovation lab dubbed @WalmartLabs today announced it has acquired Torbit, a cloud-based website acceleration service. The retailer already plans to use Torbit’s site optimization technology to improve performance across desktops, tablets, and mobile phones.
Walmart describes Torbit as a Front-End Optimization (FEO) innovator that has been focused on “making the web a faster and better place.” The startup’s technology minimizes the time visitors spend waiting for a site to load by optimizing contents of a Web page on-the-fly, as they are delivered to the browser (including dynamically compressing the files being downloaded to best fit the browser’s characteristics).
Torbit offers measurement, analytics, and performance improvement tools to help companies identify and enhance their overall site performance. Walmart could have simply used these options to build a better site like Torbit’s other customers, but clearly the retailer would rather have them for just itself.
Based in San Mateo, Torbit.com was founded in November 2010 by current CEO Josh Fraser and CTO Jon Fox. Only Fox will be joining Walmart Labs, however, along with three other engineers:
Joining us will be Jon Fox, an avid technology entrepreneur and web developer who has spent the last 7+ years building and scaling companies and providing better content and services for websites; Mike Damm, the current head of network operations and the first engineer at OpenDNS with 14 years of experience in product and backend engineering; Tylor Arndt, a software engineer with experience in product and backend engineering, who also built a map reduce-style framework that is 10X faster than Google’s BigQuery; and Frederick Mayle, a software engineer with extensive experience in information technology and computer software.
Fraser isn’t mentioned by name as he’s no longer with Torbit, so he won’t be joining Walmart Labs. We wonder if he’s regretting his decision.