Photo: Bloomberg
Photo: Bloomberg

Snapdeal buys tech start-up Fashiate

The companies did not disclose the financial details of the transaction

New Delhi: India’s second largest e-commerce website Snapdeal.com has acquired Fashiate, a Bengaluru-based technology sta-rt-up, in an all-stock deal as part of its strategy to develop its multimedia research lab, a company executive said on Wednesday.

Snapdeal, run by Jasper Infotech Pvt. Ltd, signed an acquihire deal, or one done primarily for expertise of the acquired firm’s staff, with Fashiate in March. The companies did not disclose the financial details of the transaction.

The research lab, which was formed as a result of the acquisition, helped Snapdeal develop fashion discovery portal Findmystyle.in, said Anand Chandrasekaran, chief product officer at Snapdeal.

“Findmystyle.in is powered by advanced computer vision and machine-learning algorithms. The feature will further enhance customer experience and make online shopping faster, better and more informative," he said.

Findmystyle, which is currently a separate portal, will be eventually merged with Snapdeal.

“It is currently like an experimental playground for our team; once we have the data and some trends, we will look to integrate it on the Snapdeal platform," added Chandrasekaran.

In February, Snapdeal’s co-founder Rohit Bansal had revealed his plans of spending close to $100 million on the multimedia research lab in Bengaluru, over the following three years.

This research unit will largely focus on building technologies that will help enhance the shopping experience by discovering ways of using images as search options and by developing technologies that could improve product recommendations to customers, Mint had reported in February.

Earlier this month, Flipkart launched an image search feature on its mobile app for its fashion category.

Founded in 2010 by Kunal Bahl and Bansal as a deals site, Snapdeal, backed by investors such as Japan’s SoftBank Corp. and online marketplace eBay, has become the biggest local rival to Flipkart.

With increased adoption of smartphones in the country, the format of data input is changing and websites such as Snapdeal and Flipkart are trying to engage with customers in more innovative ways.

Bengaluru-based Fashiate was founded by research scientists Gaurav Aggarwal, Nikhil Rasiwasia and Deepthi Singh in late 2014 and had only three employees.

Online retail sales could touch anywhere between $48 billion and $60 billion by 2020 from $4.47 billion last year, helped by explosive growth in smartphone penetration and the resultant increase in mobile commerce, financial services firm UBS wrote in an April report.

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