Walmart is expanding its array of virtual try-on services for shoppers with today’s news that it’s planning to acquire Memomi, an AR optical tech company and current Walmart partner offering a virtual try-on experience for eyewear. Deal terms were not disclosed, but Memomi has enabled digital measurements for all Walmart AR startup and Sam’s Club customers since 2019, the retailer said.
This partnership had spanned more than 2,800 Walmart Vision Centers and 550 Sam’s Clubs. The technology also powers the optical e-commerce experience on SamsClub.com. Although Memomi’s website touts how its technology can be used across product categories beyond optical including beauty, fashion, accessories, footwear and more Walmart declined to speak to its future plans for the service in these areas. Instead, the retailer told us it was only focused on leveraging Memomi’s capabilities in virtual optical try on.
However, Walmart AR startup has been investing in a number of new technologies in the virtual try-on space, including with its recent launch of an AI-powered virtual clothing try-on feature, powered by its acquisition of Zeekit. Last week, it also launched an AR feature that lets users see furniture and other home decor items appear in their own space. With the addition of Memomi, the retailer says the interest was both in the tech and the team. Co-founders Salvador Nissi Vilcovsky and Ofer Saban will be joining Walmart, as will other members of the team, when the deal officially closes in the coming weeks (following regulatory approval). Though the founders’ new official titles are not yet available, the Memomi team will be joining the Walmart Global Tech team, we’re told.
Walmart described the deal as the “next step” in offering personalized and affordable access to optical care online, which suggests with the acquisition the company aims to further take on competitors like 1-800 Contacts as well as online brands like Warby Parker. By bringing its technology partner in-house, it also can work more closely with the team on future development and integrations, even if those remain limited to online optical. “Customers are looking for access to care digitally, in their homes, and purchasing eyeglasses is no different,” said David Reitnauer, vice president, Specialty Services,Walmart AR startup Health & Wellness, in a statement. “This acquisition supports our Health & Wellness mission to provide accessible care to the communities we serve.” “We’re excited to welcome the Memomi team to Walmart and add their capabilities to our leading virtual reality technology that is transforming the retail experience for our customers and members,” added Cheryl Ainoa, senior vice president, New Businesses & Emerging Tech, Walmart Global Tech.
Source: This news is originally published by techcrunch