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Google Snaps Up Rangespan

Search giant buys retail tech company founded by former Amazon employees.

In a sign that Google Inc. is intensifying its focus on the consumer, the search giant bought Rangespan, a three-year retail tech start up founded by former Amazon executives.

“We are very happy to announce that Rangespan is joining Google,” Rangespan said on its Web site. “We will continue to work on services for shoppers and retailers at Google, and we’re super excited about the opportunities to come.”

The U.K.-based company’s mission is to “help retailers expand and optimize their product range in response to online market demand,” according to a cached version of its Web site.

“We have found that the majority of retailers have difficulty rapidly adjusting their online product range because of manual work and uncertainty about which products are most likely to succeed,” the site said. “Our technology helps retailers solve that challenge. We track and rank hundreds of millions of products to provide retailers with better visibility of the range that they don’t already offer. Our supplier integration platform automates dropship supplier management and product setup tasks reducing the cost of range expansion.”

Rangespan was founded by Matt Henderson, who spent seven years at Amazon and rose to UK director of merchant services, and Ryan Regan, who was chief digital officer and chief financial officer at Last.fm and, before that, worked at Amazon for eight years.