Days after acqui-hiring social gaming startup Mech Mocha, Walmart-owned Flipkart has now bought augmented reality (AR) startup Scapic. Bengaluru-based around four-year-old Scapic offers brands and e-commerce companies a virtual reality (VR) platform to create AR/VR content without coding for an immersive shopping experience for users. The cloud-based platform currently has clients in e-commerce and marketing segments, Flipkart said in a statement announcing the development. Scapic team will help Flipkart accelerate its efforts towards “deeper camera experiences, virtual storefronts, and new opportunities for brand advertising on its platform.”
This is Flipkart’s second startup deal post-Covid. The company had earlier in November acquired the intellectual property and team of Mech Mocha to enhance its gaming strategy as it looks to develop new formats to boost user engagement on its gaming platform. Flipkart intends to ramp up its online customer experience as Covid has triggered a behavioural change among customers who are increasingly adopting the online channel to buy goods and services, consult doctors and shop for healthcare products, access study material and online classes for kids, and more.
“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,” said Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart Group. The company had earlier this year also invested in providing local language interfaces for consumers to enhance the shopping experience. “Customers now require better visuals than ever before. Scapic is building visual technology that brings products to life using Augmented Reality and 3D,” said V K Sai Krishna & Ajay P V, Co-Founders, Scapic.
AR/VR technology refers to the use of sensory devices to virtually change or tweak the environment around a user or immerse them in a simulated environment. VR devices usually consist of uniquely designed headsets for visual immersion into a simulated environment and AR basically relies on these headsets to offer virtual elements to the real environment of a user. The global AR/VR market for the retail industry is likely to reach $2,094.08 billion by 2027 growing at 68.5 per cent, according to Data Bridge Market Research. Around August last year, Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance had also acquired AR/VR startup Tesseract that had developed the VR eyewear Jio Glass.