Flipkart is looking at tech acquisitions in Silicon valley because differentiated tech is a new focus area for the company.

Flipkart looks at Silicon Valley startups to ramp up deep-tech to invest 25 mn
Atom Tech Shorts Wednesday, February 07, 2018 - 19:01
Written by  S. Mahadevan

While the competition in the Indian ecommerce space is dominated by the 2 key players, Amazon and Flipkart, the Indian startup, it appears is doing a catch-up act with its American rival, at least in the technology department. Flipkart is making amends now and is seeking help from that Mecca of technology, the Silicon Valley in the US. Flipkart has made its intentions clear on making an investment of $25 million (Rs 160 crore) in suitable startups working on deep technology.

There areas within the ecommerce e-tailing operation that require the application of AI based technology to improve the overall customer experience.  ET quotes sources as saying that Flipkart is lagging behind by nearly 4-5 hours in terms of technology unlike Amazon, which has more people in its technology division globally, thereby making sure multiple services are ready to be deployed when the business teams need it. 

Experts feel there are areas where Amazon appears to score higher over Flipkart due to this gap in technology. Some of these deep technologies may not be existing in India at the present juncture.

This move by Flipkart follows an initiative by the company to start a dedicated project “AIforIndia” with the same purpose of beefing up its technology for running the ecommerce business. Three top executives, Mayur Datar, as the chief data scientist, Flipkart’s co-founder Sachin Bansal and CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy will form the apex team to run the “AIforIndia” project.    

Already, a Silicon Valley startup F7 Labs has been acquired and is working on AI related project codenamed Mira. The team will scout for more such startups, armed with the $25 million fund in hand.

With these developments there has also been a minor reshuffle at the top with the fin-tech department being handed over to Ravi Garikipati and the engineering division being headed by Kalyan Krishnamurthy.