The nation’s biggest retailer is buying a start-up that makes consumer electronics from the ground up.
Walmart announced Monday that it had agreed to acquire Abt, a San Francisco-based company that makes products such as TVs and gaming consoles.
Abt has built its products to run on the Web, with an integrated marketplace for buyers to buy from.
Walmarts spokeswoman Jessica Meehan said in an email that the company had purchased Abt’s technology to help it bring its electronics business online.
“We are excited to partner with Abt to create a great marketplace that offers our customers a complete range of products, including the hottest brands and the latest tech,” Meeham wrote.
Abt’s products are sold on Walmart.com, the company’s online store.
com currently sells the TV and gaming console Abt sells.
The move by Walmart comes after a string of acquisitions in recent years, including a stake in Amazon, which it bought for $775 million last year.
The company said Monday that its board of directors approved the transaction.
Walmart has spent hundreds of millions of dollars buying technology companies that build products from scratch or are developing them in-house.
The move to acquire a startup that builds products from the company, and which will build a marketplace for buying them, was a big one for the retailer.
“Abt is an innovator in the marketplace, and we are excited that we will be a part of the team that is building the future of retail and technology,” said David Bailenson, a Walmart spokesman.
The deal could help Walmart diversify its portfolio of products.
Walmarts chief executive, Brian Cornell, said in September that he expected to sell about a third of the company.
Abe Noguchi, chief executive of Abt and the chief executive officer of Microsoft, will serve on the board of Walmart’s new parent company, which is called Walmart Group.