US retail giant Walmart is to acquire Memomi, the Israeli-founded optical tech startup that develops virtual try-on services. It uses artificial intelligence to analyze the shape of customers’ faces and to match them with suitable frames.
Walmart, the world’s biggest retailer, has been using Memomi’s technology at over 2,800 vision centers since 2019, and at 550 Sam’s Clubs, its membership-only retail warehouse chain.
Memomi was founded in 2014 by Israeli entrepreneurs Ofer Saban and Salvador Nissi Vilcovsky, and has corporate offices in Paris and Tokyo. Its headquarters are in Palo Alto, California, USA.
Memomi created the Memory Mirror, an augmented reality and artificial intelligence platform that allows customers to try a range of products – beauty, fashion, eyewear, hair care, footwear and accessories – virtually and get recommendations based on profile, style and preference.
The acquisition, for an undisclosed sum, is expected to close in the coming weeks, and Memomi employees will join the Walmart Global Tech organization.
“Walmart’s ability to roll out our virtual try-on and contact-free digital measurements service in a short period of time shows how committed Walmart is to its customers’ need for digital care in-stores and at home,” said Saban, Memomi’s chief technology officer.
David Reitnauer, vice president, specialty services, Walmart health & wellness, said: “Customers are looking for access to care digitally, in their homes, and purchasing eyeglasses is no different. This acquisition supports our health and wellness mission to provide accessible care to the communities we serve.”
The company said the move would reinforce its commitment to “frictionless and omnichannel optical care”.