After acquiring Israel-based analytical startup Upstream Commerce last September, Flipkart is raising its stake on the Middle Eastern country.
India’s biggest e-commerce company is setting up a management team and building an R&D centre focused on cyber-security, cloud computing and data protection, said an Economic Times report, citing sources.
“While the size of the team itself is small, Israel is a market Flipkart wants to actively pursue artificial intelligence, computer vision and security tech,” said the report quoting a source.
The initiative is said to be led by Flipkart’s senior vice president of engineering, Jeyandran Venugopal.
Tel-Aviv’ startup ecosystem was ranked sixth worldwide in 2017, according to the Global Startup Ecosystem Report. A recent report of Australian government states Israel houses more than 350 multinational R&D centres, established by global companies such as Alcatel-Lucent, Apple, Facebook, GE, General Motors, Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, PayPal and Samsung.
The world’s largest e-commerce giant Amazon would soon be debuting in Israel with a local Internet address, The Times of Israel reported in January.
Flipkart’s parent company Walmart has also been actively looking at the Israel market for potential investments, the Economic Times report claimed, adding that Walmart CEO Doug McMillon and senior company representatives met Israeli government officials last week and visited local hi-tech startup companies.
In February 2019, Walmart acquired Aspectiva, an Israeli machine learning and natural language processing start-up, for an undisclosed amount. As part of the acquisition, Aspectiva joined Walmart’s Store N° 8, the incubation arm launched by the retailer in 2017 focused on grooming the ideas with the potential to transform the future of commerce. The retail giant also has a strategic investment in Israeli cybersecurity startup incubator Team8.
Israeli high-tech companies raised USD 6.4 billion in 623 deals, marking a record following six years of the consecutive growth. The total capital raised in 2018 was 17% higher compared to 2017.