After having acqui-hired the start-up Appsfly in September this year, Walmart Labs is now acqui-hiring Int.AI, a machine learning start-up, in an attempt to make its technology team stronger.
The retail company has already merged Appsfly’s small team of six members with its giant customer experience engineering group.
Soon, it will merge the three-member team at Int.AI, which is into data analytics and machine learning, with its customer technology team. The team at Int.AI has developed tools that analyse data and share it with users over e-mail and collaborative tools, such as Slack. It is working on automating the work of business analysts with the help of natural language programming and latest clustering algorithms.
There are more acquisitions on the cards. This model of roping in rival start-ups requires little or no investment, and works well at a time when there is paucity of technical talent.
The model attracts the engineers of the start-ups because, like in the case of Walmart, it gives the engineers of the acquired smaller companies an opportunity to use their algorithms on the retailer’s huge volumes of data and create actual value for the organisation, in measurable terms.