India’s e-commerce giant Flipkart is set to double down on its tech base in Israel after acquiring Upstream Commerce, an Israeli analytics startup which provides automated competitive pricing and product analytics solutions for online retailers.
Flipkart is fitting in a management team and setting up an R&D centre to focus on cybersecurity, cloud computing and data protection while actively casting for acquisitions in the country.
“While the size of the team itself is small, Israel is a market Flipkart wants to actively pursue AI, computer vision and security tech,” said a person aware of the plan. This drive is being led by Jeyandran Venugopal, senior vice president of engineering, Flipkart.
Flipkart has declined to comment on the specifics.
The e-commerce company’s interest to expand in the region mirrors global tech companies like Google, Apple, Facebook and Salesforce which have set up their offices in Israel to tap the country’s blooming talent.
“Our team in Israel is highly talented and we are also looking forward to making Israel one of our excellence centres to do cutting-edge data science work,” a company spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
Last month Walmart acquired a start-up named Aspectivia. The Tel Aviv-based company uses artificial intelligence to study and process data from consumer product interests to customised suggestions for purchasers.
Other leading Indian e-commerce companies have also put in tech teams overseas. While Ola is having its presence in San Fransisco, Paytm founded labs in Canada.
Flipkart also has an R&D lab in Palo Alto, California. The team is working on AI and machine learning as the company is hoping to attract top Silicon Valley talent from giants like Google, Facebook and eBay.