Since its acquisition in a $16 Bn deal by global retailer Walmart, India’s ecommerce posterboy, Flipkart, has been making one move after another to expand its business and operations. In its latest move, Flipkart has acquired Israel-based Upstream Commerce, one of the leading players in real-time pricing and product assortment optimisation solutions in the world.
This is Flipkart’s second acquisition this year. In August, it had acquired Bengaluru-based artificial intelligence company Liv.ai, with the deal being reportedly pegged at $40 Mn.
Upstream Commerce was backed by YL Ventures as a leading investor from its inception till its acquisition. Avendus Capital was the financial advisor to Upstream Commerce in the deal. The deal size has not been disclosed yet.
Founded in 2010 by Amos Peleg and Dr. Shai Geva, Upstream Commerce helps companies by delivering automated, real-time intelligence and analytics across more than 15 retailing categories develop, implement and continuously enhance pricing, merchandising, promotion and lifecycle management.
A technology-focused startup, Upstream Commerce builds cloud-based, automated competitive pricing, and product analysis solutions. These solutions will strengthen Flipkart’s ability to deliver insights to its sellers, helping the company optimise its product assortment and pricing strategies and find gaps in the market to serve customers better.
After the acquisition, the Upstream Commerce team, while continuing to work out of Israel, will become a part of Flipkart. Flipkart will also set up one of its two global centres — the other being in Palo Alto, California, in the US — for future data science work in Israel.
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Amos Peleg, CEO, Upstream Commerce, believes that both the companies share the same passion for technology and the same vision for the contribution of data science to the future and success of online retail.
“The choice and vision of Flipkart to establish its presence in Israel through acquiring Upstream Commerce is a significant vote of confidence in the company’s team, technology and domain expertise, and are looking forward to helping to grow the presence of Flipkart in Israel,” he added.
The acquisition is in line with Flipkart’s vision to solve ecommerce challenges through technology innovations — both through in-house efforts as well as the inorganic route — and will help the company provide a wider selection of products and better pricing for its customers. The move will also strengthen Flipkart’s innovation capabilities.
“With the Upstream acquisition, we will now have tech and talent presence across Asia, US and Israel, some of the key global hubs for innovation. The team at Upstream Commerce is highly talented and as we welcome them to Flipkart we are also looking forward to making Israel one of our excellence centres to do cutting-edge data science work,” said Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart.
Anil Goteti, Head of Marketplace, Flipkart believes that while Flipkart has been actively developing machine learning algorithms to further improve the selection and pricing parameters for sellers, through added capabilities from Upstream, Flipkart will be able to provide them with automated pricing and help plan better selection in the most accurate, timely, and profitable way.
“These capabilities will be a big addition for us and together with our in-house AI capabilities, we will be able to share actionable insights with our sellers to help them make informed decisions on products and their pricing,” she added.
India-Israel: An International Collaboration
India and Israel have all together signed seven bilateral agreements in different areas such as space, agriculture, and water conservation.
Both countries have agreed to set up a three-year work programme –India-Israel Development Cooperation in Agriculture for the period of 2018-2020.
Israel has also signed an agreement with India which will help in water conservation and state water utility reform in India.
Recently, India-Israel Innovation Bridge selected six Israeli tech startups specialising in the fields of healthcare, agriculture and water management.
Prior to this, NSE (National Stock Exchange of India) and Nasdaq (National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations) tied up to explore business opportunities across listings, corporate, market services as well as data and innovations in products, processes, and technology across India, Israel and Silicon Valley.
Earlier in June, Israel Innovation Authority (IIA) launched a new pilot programme for Israeli startups to test their products in India.
With the government already providing a huge push to India-Israel collaboration, Flipkart’s international plunge is an interesting watch.