Walmart’s Tech Incubator Store No. 8 Acquires VR Startup Spatialand
Last Summer, Spatialand Created A VR Experience That Virtually Transported Users To A Yosemite National Park Campsite, Presenting Outdoor Gear Such As Tents For Engagement And Interaction So That Customers Could Evaluate If They Were A Good Fit
Store No 8 announced their acquisition of Spatialand. This is the the third portfolio company to be acquired by Store No 8. The new venture will operate in stealth with Kim and Jeremy at the helm as co-founders. I’m proud to join this team as well, as interim CEO, in addition to my role as Principal of Store No 8. The team will develop and explore new products and uses of VR through immersive retail environments that can be incorporated by all facets of Walmart, online and offline.
Spatialand makes software tools that let creators transform existing content into immersive, virtual reality experiences. The startup worked with Walmart’s technology incubator, Store No. 8, on a project last year, and has now been acquired by that group.
The startup’s founder, Kim Cooper, and about 10 employees will join Walmart in the deal. Katie Finnegan, who has been overseeing the Store No. 8 incubator, will serve as interim CEO of the new virtual reality company.
Store No 8 showed off a number of VR applications at its inaugural Innov8 gala in southern California last fall, held in partnership with Accenture as strategic innovation advisor and Thrive Global, Arianna Huffington’s wellness-focused tech company. The event included Bonobos and ModCloth, some of Walmart’s more recent fashion-forward and millennial-focused acquisitions, using VR to create photorealistic holograms of people and using just a smartphone to create 3-D product images, respectively.
Spatialand’s software toolkit enables creators to bring their content to the VR environment. Spatialand CEO Kim Cooper, a double Emmy nominee, has worked on VR projects for Reebok, Intel and Oculus as well as blockbuster films such as “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” and “Iron Man.”
According to Orbis Research, the virtual reality market could be worth more than $40 billion by 2020. In November, Amazon debuted Sumerian, an iOS toolkit to help coders develop VR-based applications.