In first Israeli acquisition, Walmart purchases natural language processing start-up Aspectiva
(Source : https://en.globes.co.il/en/article-walmart-buys-israeli-ai-co-aspectiva-1001275720)
American retail giant Walmart’s Store No 8 innovation arms has acquired an Israeli machine learning startup for an undisclosed sum, the retail giant announced Tuesday (Feb. 26).
The Aspectiva team joined Store N° 8* on Feb. 25, 2019 and will continue to operate from Aspectiva’s offices in Tel Aviv.
* Walmart’s Store N° 8, the incubation arm launched by the retailer in 2017 to uncover the ideas that will transform the future of commerce.
According to Walmart’s Principal of Store N° 8 Lori Flees, “Aspectiva has developed incredibly sophisticated machine learning techniques and natural language processing capabilities, both of which are areas we believe will have profound impact on how customers will shop in the future. Israel is a hotbed of tech talent and innovation. We’re thrilled to join the growing community of entrepreneurs in Israel and see it expand within Aspectiva,” said in a statement.
Aspectiva’s Natural Language Processing capabilities will help Walmart further enhance the end-to-end shopping experience. This startup has built an Artificial Intelligence software suite to analyzes consumer opinions and turning them into valuable insights in order to help eCommerce visitors to make informed decisions resulting in increased online conversion rates. By applying deep Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning, Aspectiva surfaces what people say about any product and understands what they feel about it. The software automatically identifies product attributes shoppers talk about by analyzing massive volumes of user generated content.
“Our team is extremely excited to be joining Store N° 8 and be part of Walmart’s most recent investment in Israel. Store N° 8’s record of innovation and of developing capabilities that will transform retail as we know it makes for the perfect environment to leverage Aspectiva’s technology throughout the shopping funnel,” said Ezra Daya, CEO of Aspectiva, in the same press release.
Co-founded by Ezra Daya and Eyal Hurwitz in 2013, the Israel AI startup has already raised up to $4 million led by VC fund Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), together with Japanese VC fund Global Brain, Union Five, Israeli firm LivePerson and Re-Invent.
This deal is just the latest in Walmart’s focus on Israel-based tech companies. It has already made investments in Team8, an Israeli think tank and tech incubator, and launched a joint venture with Eko, a media and technology company. Walmart also recently joined The Bridge, a tech accelerator program that connects global companies with the tech startup community in Israel.