- Walmart’s startup incubator, Store No.8, has teamed up with Outlier Ventures, a Web3 investment firm and accelerator, to launch the Store No.8 dCommerce Base Camp accelerator, according to a Tuesday press release emailed to Retail Dive.
- The accelerator seeks a cohort of startups that are building Web3 tools to improve the retail and commerce experience. The program will last 12 weeks starting mid-August.
- Chosen founders will receive mentorship from Outlier Ventures and Store No.8’s team and network, education and seed funding.
Walmart launched Store No.8 in 2017 to cultivate companies at the next frontier of commerce, including areas like virtual reality, drone delivery and personalized shopping.
With the new accelerator, Outlier Ventures and Store No.8 seek startups focusing on the metaverse, decentralized infrastructure, data and growth solutions, the intersection of AI and blockchain technology. Participating startups will learn from mentors about creating their product roadmap, building community, understanding the token economy, pitching, fundraising, and governance, among other topics.
“Decentralized commerce has the potential to unlock new value in the global commerce ecosystem, so we are excited to partner with Outlier Ventures to support and engage with entrepreneurs building at the forefront of this technology on their path to scale,” Thomas Kang, vice president of Store No.8, said in a statement.
Beyond supporting emerging commerce startups, Walmart has also concentrated on its own digital strategy. In April, the company announced that it updated its website and mobile app to improve and personalize shoppers’ e-commerce experience. At that time Dominique Essig, vice president of conversational commerce at Store No.8, also introduced Walmart’s new Text to Shop experience.
Meanwhile, other brands and retailers have ventured into Web3 projects. Last November, Nike announced the launch of its platform .Swoosh, which is enabled by Web3 and allows Nike members to collect and co-create vitual objects and eventually trade virtual goods. That same month, Lacoste launched a virtual store with a room only available to members of its Web3 communities who hold a Lacoste NFT.