1. News
August 22, 2018

Online retailer Flipkart buys speech recognition platform Liv.ai

India-based online retailer Flipkart has acquired an artificial intelligence (AI) based speech recognition platform, Liv.ai, for an undisclosed amount.

India-based online retailer Flipkart has acquired an artificial intelligence (AI) based speech recognition platform, Liv.ai, for an undisclosed amount.

Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed by the companies, however, The Economic Times first reported that the acquisition value would be nearly $40m.

As part of the retailer’s strategy to build its technology capabilities, the acquisition will help Flipkart leverage Liv.ai’s technology and establish a new conversational shopping experience for its customers.

Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy was quoted by the news website as saying: “In India, Flipkart has made e-commerce happen. We have led local innovation in India.”

“Every year we come up with a local innovation and this (voice-led commerce) is one of them. We could have waited for three years, but we wanted to drive the adoption because we know that’s what the Indian user wants.”

“The acquisition will help Flipkart leverage Liv.ai’s technology and establish a new conversational shopping experience for its customers.”

Liv.ai will also be integrated into Flipkart’s business unit following the deal.

Established in 2015, Liv.ai is a platform developed to convert speech to text in ten Indian languages, namely Hindi, Bengali, Punjabi, Marathi, Gujarati, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam.

Liv.ai CEO Subodh Kumar was quoted by The Economic Times as saying: “We work on speech recognition and surrounding technologies, and these will be extremely valuable to any company that wants to target the Indian customer base of 100-200 million.”

“Voice is a much better and effortless interface and it will increase the buying propensity and their intention to buy, and ease of use will increase on an e-commerce platform.”