Walmart Scoops up Ad Tech Startup Polymorph Labs to Boost Its Advertising Business

It seems like there would be no more industries where Walmart can break new ground, but this week the retailer announced it is getting into the advertising business.  Posted to its website, Thursday, Walmart Media Group VP and General Manager Stefanie Jay said the company is set to acquire advertising startup Polymorph Labs. According to an accompanying statement about the acquisition, Polymorph Labs offers a “cloud-based, self-serve platform.” 

Jay further adds, “This technology complements Walmart’s current omni-channel ad targeting and measurement solution, and will provide a platform for continued future innovation, such as real-time auctions across multiple ad-pricing models (cost per click, cost per impression, cost per conversion).” 

Walmart Media Group has a goal to provide advertisers with ad delivery automation and data reporting on various audience segments.  More importantly, this appears to be the retail giant’s latest move towards leveraging its massive size to get into a completely new industry.  As such, Walmart estimates 90 percent of consumers in the United States shop at Walmart; attracting roughly 160 million shoppers to its stores—and website(s)—every single week. 

Jay goes on to say, “Walmart Media Group enables brands to reach more customers at scale and measure advertising effectiveness across the entire shopping journey.”

The introduction of this technology, Walmart says, will allow for advertisers to leverage the unique combination of in-store data and precious online shopper data across the company’s entire physical and digital networks. And collecting this data from Walmart’s several hundred million customers will make ad buying easier and far more efficient. 

She concludes, “Simply put, we can help brands understand if someone saw their ad on Walmart’s platform or across the internet, and then purchased the product in-store or online. No one else can do this at scale like Walmart.”

Polymorph Labs is still quite a young company, having been founded in 2013. Still, in its short five-year life, the tech company has proven its worth.  As a matter of fact, Polymorph Labs has already raised $10.6 million in funding from Interwest Partners, Onset Ventures, and Rakuten Ventures. And all this with only about 50 employees.