Peer-to-peer chat app Tango Tuesday unveiled Tango Shop, a shoppable catalog of some two million products from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Alibaba.
The move follows similar ones by Facebook and other chat apps in Asia aiming to leverage mobile messaging for commerce.
Alibaba last year led Tango’s $280 million Series E round, which valued the messaging startup at more than $1 billion.
Looks like it takes two million to Tango. Melding e-commerce into messaging has emerged as the latest holy grail in e-commerce, and Tango appears to have vaulted over its rivals with this move, at least in the U.S. where messaging-based commerce has been slow to develop. These systems in Asia have resulted in big sales for many brands, though it remains to be seen how this takes off here. Tango’s co-founder and chief technology officer Eric Setton says it surely will.
“There’s no question that messaging is the new gateway to the Internet,” Setton said. “We’re the way to connect people that know each other.”
This move is also good news for Wal-Mart, which has lagged in e-commerce despite efforts to change that.