Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced the acquisition of Jet Inc. for approximately $3 billion in cash. This is one of the biggest e-commerce acquisitions ever. The Board of Directors of both companies approved the acquisition and is expected to close this financial year. Additionally, Walmart announced that $300 million worth of Walmart shares will be paid over time as a part of the transaction.
According to Walmart, Jet has demonstrated an ability to scale with speed, reaching $1 billion in run-rate Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) and offering 12 million SKUs in its first year. It also has a growing customer base of more than 400,000 new shoppers added monthly and an average of 25,000 daily processed orders.
By teaming up with Walmart, Jet Inc. founder Marc Lore would get deeper pockets to take on arch rival Amazon. In his earlier stint as the founder of Quidsi, the parent company of Diapers.com, he was forced to sell his company to Amazon for $550 million, owing to market conditions. Emerging with Jet in 2015, Marc seems set to get revenge. On the other end, Walmart gets Lore, who is considered to be one of the smartest minds of the American e-commerce system. Further, it also gets access to Jet’s proprietary technology as well as customer data.
Also, as mentioned in Recode, Walmart can learn a lot from Jet’s technology backend, which identifies orders in real-time, segregating which order should be routed to which vendor for getting the lowest fulfillment and shipping costs. As mentioned earlier, this technology helps give back to the system in the form of discounts. The partnership equips the duo to take on e-commerce behemoth Amazon. But a comparison is needed here; Walmart’s online sales were about $14 billion last year, which accounted to 14 percent of Amazon’s product and service revenues of $99 billion.