Walmart-owned Flipkart Group Tuesday said it has acquired a 100% stake in augmented reality company Scapic to enhance its users’ shopping experience. The company did not disclose the deal size.
Flipkart Group entails online marketplace Flipkart, fashion portal Myntra, digital payment service PhonePe, and digital B2B marketplace Flipkart Wholesale.
Scapic provides a suite of tools to brands and e-tailers to create and publish Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and 3D content within minutes, without the need of coding.
Founded in 2017 by Sai Krishna V K and Ajay Ponna Venkatesh, the startup currently serves clients across e-commerce and marketing, who are using it to offer immersive experiences in categories like fashion, furniture, and electronics. Scapic was backed by Axilor, Speciale Invest, and Newfort Capital, who wrote a USD 500,000 check in its seed round in 2018.
Scapic’s team of developers and designers will join Flipkart and work towards accelerating “the company’s efforts to provide deeper camera experiences, virtual storefronts, and new opportunities for brand advertising on its platform,” Flipkart said in a statement.
This comes two weeks after the company announced the acquisition of gaming startup Mech Mocha for an undisclosed amount as the e-tailer looks to gain and retain users by offering casual games to its app users. As part of the acquisition, Flipkart gained Mech Mocha’s intellectual property rights and absorbed its team.
These acquisitions are in line with Flipkart’s efforts to strengthen its presence in tier 2, 3, and 4 cities In its bid to make online shopping easier for users, particularly those from smaller cities, the e-commerce giant has poured millions of dollars to build its AI-based recommendation engine and bolster regional language capabilities. For instance, in 2018, Flipkart had bought AI startup Liv.ai, which converts speech to text in 10 regional languages.
“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,” Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart Group, said in a statement.
In an interview with local media Mint, Krishnamurthy had said the company would make investments in areas where it lacks the ability to build so as to strengthen its presence in grocery and fashion, which make up 80-90% of India’s retail economy and are most underpenetrated from an e-commerce standpoint.
While Flipkart has a strong grip in the fashion category with its fashion portal Myntra, the company made a slew of investments in the space this year. Earlier this month, it made an undisclosed investment in Universal Sportsbiz, a fashion firm that markets brands endorsed by celebrities. Prior to this, it invested USD 203.8 million in traditional brick-and-mortar fashion company Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd (ABFRL). In July, it wrote a USD 35 million check for Arvind Youth Brands, the youth-centric subsidiary of Indian fashion retailer Arvind Fashions.