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Walmart to form JV with video developer to expand entertainment ecosystem


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Walmart to form JV with video developer to expand entertainment ecosystem

U.S. retail giant Walmart Inc. announced a strategic joint venture with video technology developer Eko to form W*E Interactive Ventures in a bid to further its customer engagement and expand its entertainment ecosystem.

Walmart has a physical and digital video presence through stores websites and the digital platform VUDU. It also recently launched an e-book platform, Walmart eBooks, with Rakuten Kobo Inc.

The new venture includes plans to develop original and interactive content which could include a range of offerings such as cooking shows and interactive catalogs, the company said in an Oct. 11 news release.

Yoni Bloch, CEO of Eko, will lead the venture, while Tribeca Productions co-founder Jane Rosenthal will serve as a strategic adviser.

Walmart also said that it has agreed to participate in Eko's next funding round.

The interactive entertainment company has previously received funding from Walmart, Sequoia Capital, Intel Capital Corp., Warner Music Group Corp., Samsung, and others.