Flipkart acquires augmented reality company Scapic for undisclosed sum

Kalyan Krishnamurthy, chief executive of Flipkart Group said the company is focused on providing Indian consumers experiences that make shopping online a seamless and more enjoyable experience
Flipkart Group has acquired Scapic, an Augmented Reality company (AR), to enhance its e-commerce shopping experience capabilities. Scapic is a cloud-based platform which enables creation and publishing of Augmented Reality (AR) and 3D content, currently serving clients across e-commerce and marketing. Walmart-owned Flipkart which competes with Amazon and Reliance’s JioMart did not reveal financial details of the transaction.

With coronavirus pandemic bringing about a change in consumer behaviour and an increase in online adoption, Flipkart has been focusing on enhancing consumer experiences through several investments. This includes strengthening technology capabilities. It is providing local language interfaces on its platform for consumers across the country. The company has also recognised the Indian consumers' preference for experiences that replicate the tangible shopping process.

Kalyan Krishnamurthy, chief executive of Flipkart Group said the company is focused on providing Indian consumers experiences that make shopping online a seamless and more enjoyable experience. “This year has accelerated online adoption - be it education, communication or shopping, as people prioritise health and safety,” said Krishnamurthy. “As we make investments that focus on developing and nurturing the retail ecosystem, we are also committed to making our platform easier to navigate and richer for consumers in terms of content and experience.”

Scapic was founded in 2017 by Sai Krishna V K and Ajay P V. It is a no-code platform for brands and e-commerce entities to build AR, VR (virtual reality) and 3D shopping experiences. Through the acquisition of Scapic, the Flipkart Group will acquire a 100 per cent stake in the Bengaluru-based company. It would onboard a talented team of experienced developers and designers. This team will work towards accelerating the company’s efforts to provide deeper camera experiences, virtual storefronts and new opportunities for brand advertising on its platform.

Scapic co-founders V K Sai Krishna and Ajay P V, said that more consumers are buying more online and it has only accelerated this year. They said customers now require better visuals than ever before. Scapic is building visual technology that brings products to life using AR and 3D. Advancements by the Scapic team in the field of artificial intelligence, computer vision and AR have made this change possible.

“Scapic’s no-code platform helps create immersive experiences across categories such as fashion, furniture and electronics,” said the Scapic co-founders. “We are deeply excited about the opportunity that is being presented to scale this up further and make millions of shoppers in India experience the potential of AR.”

This is the second major technology company acquisition for Flipkart this year. Earlier this month Flipkart strengthened its gaming strategy through the acquisition of intellectual property (IP) from Mech Mocha, a mobile gaming start-up that runs India’s first live-social gaming platform Hello Play.

According to consulting firm RedSeer, there is a rise in new shopping models owing to changing customer demographics, including video-based and WhatsApp-based shopping. As Flipkart expands its e-commerce operations across the country, it has been making a slew of acquisitions in the past few years. These include firms such as digital payments firm PhonePe, online fashion retailer Myntra, and the Indian arm of e-commerce firm eBay.

It has also been making strategic investments in many tech and retail companies. Last month, it invested Rs 1,500 crore in Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail for a strategic partnership. It also made a fresh round of investment in Ninjacart that connects farmers with kiranas and businesses using technology.

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