Retail giant Walmart is diving deeper into web3 through its incubation arm Store Nº8, which partnered with the venture capital firm Outlier Ventures to launch a blockchain accelerator program. Named the Store Nº8 Base Camp, this 12-week virtual incubator has already selected its first cohort of five startups focused on decentralized solutions for global commerce.

The program provides each startup with a $200,000 stipend and enterprise advisory from KPMG. Participating teams gain access to Store Nº8’s extensive networks across ecommerce, retail, marketing, media, web3, gaming, and VC. While Store Nº8 is blockchain-agnostic, the current cohort features projects built on Polygon, Celo, Aleph Zero, and other leading protocols.

According to Store Nº8’s Thomas Kang, VP and GM of metaverse commerce, Walmart sees major potential in using immersive virtual worlds and web3 to engage with customers in new ways. He stated that over the next year, Walmart (WMT) will test novel experiences that connect its business across physical and virtual environments.

Recent examples include collectible toy maker Pudgy Penguins launching its NFT characters as a toy line in over 2,000 Walmart stores last month. Kang emphasized that web3 enables a fluid linking between digital and real-world goods and activities.

Meanwhile, Outlier Ventures CPO Benjamin Meyer added that decentralized solutions can enhance efficiency, trust, and user experiences for retailers and consumers globally. By breaking down commerce into modular protocols, web3 innovations aim to build a more flexible and decentralized commercial framework.

These Were The 5 Candidates Selected by Walmart’s Store Nº8

Store Nº8 Base Camp focused its selection process on startups driving this vision of decentralized commerce. Out of over 370 applicants, 5 teams were chosen for the first cohort:

  • HypeLab: A web3 advertising platform that helps brands place ads across metaverses, games, DApps, and web3 environments. The solution consists of self-serving portals and SDKs for decentralized ad campaigns.
  • Reveel: Provides an automated payout infrastructure to manage revenue flows on-chain. Its solution lets creators easily split revenues with their partners. It integrates with Ethereum, Polygon, Zora, and other popular chains easily.
  • Tide Protocol: Enables data-driven web3 marketing campaigns with no-code tools. It focuses on social, email, and influencer marketing tailored for crypto projects.
  • Tokenguard: An analytics platform that tracks growth and engagement across web3 apps and NFT projects. Its monitoring tool is supported on Polkadot, Moonbeam, Kusama, etc.
  • Unblock: This web3 project facilitates fast, low-fee, and borderless crypto payments for businesses. Also helps with compliance, KYC, and risk management via white-label fiat on/off ramping.

Incubator’s Program Manager Sees Bear Market as an Opportunity

With expertise across marketing, infrastructure, analytics, and payments, these startups showcase the expanding scope of web3 innovation. Their solutions highlight how decentralized technologies can transform experiences for both businesses and consumers.

According to Store Nº8 program manager Ruth Galvin, the current crypto bear market makes it an optimal time for founders to refine their offerings. By fostering innovation and efficiency, she believes that web3 entrepreneurs can gain traction in the midst of these challenging conditions.

The collaboration between Walmart and Outlier also underscores growing corporate interest in the potential of blockchain technology and web3 solutions. As major retailers look to stay ahead of the curve, web3 capabilities offer new ways to connect with customers, create value, tap into digital worlds, and revamp their internal processes.

Walmart’s massive reach, resources, and data combined with Outlier’s web3 venture expertise provides the five selected startups with unmatched support. The program’s backing from Synergis Capital and KPMG also validates the efforts that the teams behind these projects have put into building these web3 solutions.

With this initial cohort, Store Nº8 Base Camp sets the stage for Walmart and Outlier to nurture the next generation of companies that will disrupt global commerce. The multinational retailer’s growing web3 activity signals its commitment to explore blockchain, metaverse, NFTs, and other decentralized solutions as integral components of the future of the retail industry.