Google has bought UK retail start-up Rangespan as it seeks to boost its presence in the online shopping space, and specifically its retail portal Google Shopping.

London-based Rangespan, founded in 2011 by former Amazon executives Ryan Regan and Matt Henderson, is the third UK start-up to be acquired by Google this year, after AI-specialist DeepMind and anti-malware startup Spider.io.

The start-up, which has raised $5 million (£2.95 million) from venture capital firm Octopus Investments, provides back office services to the likes of Tesco and Asda that are designed to help them decide what products to add or take away from their current product ranges. 

The terms of the acquisition, which will see Rangespan integrated into Google, were not revealed.

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

“As part of the change, we will wind down Rangespan’s services. We’ve already begun working individually with each of our retailers and suppliers on this process.”

It's likely that critics will once again question when the UK will start building its own billion-dollar tech companies as yet another promising tech firm is poached by a Silicon Valley giant.