Wal-Mart’s Mobile Team Thinking Big With App Development Firm Small Society

Wal-Mart’s digital labs arm has snapped up a small but influential mobile software-development team, adding Small Society to its group of technologists trying to help the retailing behemoth deal with the shift to mobile computing.
Terms were not disclosed, but the Portland, Oregon-based agency had three people listed on a cached copy of its “Team” page found through Google (NSDQ: GOOG) (the page has been deleted). That includes founder and president Raven Zachary, a well-known mobile development evangelist in the industry who has focused his group on developing iOS applications for high-profile organizations like Starbucks (NSDQ: SBUX), Zipcar, and the Democratic National Committee, according to Wal-Mart’s announcement.
“From the other side of the table, with our millions of weekly customers across dozens of countries and businesses that range from groceries and pharmacy to financial services, we offered them an unparalleled variety of challenges, and they too were impressed,” wrote Paul Cousineau of the company’s @WalMartLabs division, which is based in Silicon Valley.
One of these days mobile retailing and mobile payments will finally enter the mainstream–at least if a small army of partners has anything to say about it–and Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT), as the largest retailer in the U.S., will want to have a strong mobile presence.