Eyeing a billion-dollar Fintech market, Flipkart is all set to enter and build new business in the sector. India’s largest marketplace plans to hire executive from Silicon Valley to assist the business.
“We think we can do it better because of our access to rich, commerce data in conjuction with third party financial data. We can build some very proprietary credit scoring models and thereby expand our reach of the consumer base and offer commerce to those guys,” said Ravi Garikipati, Flipkart’s chief technology officer (CTO) in an interview to Livemint.
For its technology team, the e-commerce firm will soon kick off its hiring process. At present, Flipkart has close to 1200 engineers in its tech team. “We will hire talent in areas such as computer vision, image sciences, folks with deeo experience in natural language processing (NLP) and also speech technology. We believe that the next wave of discovery will be multi-model in nature. Therefore we are investing into speech, which we think as a big piece of future innovation,” added Garikipati. Flipkart has a technology centre in Silicon Valley called the F7 labs. It is looking to bring some of those technology roles to India.
Keeping its rival in mind, Flipkart is not betting high on businesses it thinks does not have huge opportunity. Amazon India has been aggressively pursuing Indian market, as it has already invested $2.5 billion out of $5 billion commited to the market. Amazon’s India market is all set to outrun its Japan, Germany and the UK businesses, to become second largest overseas market for Amazon in few years. Recently, Amazon lent $1 billion to its 20000 merchants on its platform.
Indian Fintech market
In last few years, Fintech segment has seen tremendous growth in India. Fintech market is foretasted to touch $2.4 billion by 2020 against current market size of $1.2 billion in the country. Demonitisation seems to have pushed India towards becoming a digital payment economy. According to experts in the industry, physical banks may not be there in next 5-6 years because of rising cost of operations. More than 20 Fintech startups have raised capital from venture funds. In one of the biggest deals in the segment, Paytm raised $1.4 billion from Softbank.
“Using smartphones, each one of us will be a walking ATM by 2020, helping people around us, who do not own a smartphone, move cash in and out of the digital economy,” CEO of Niti Ayog, Amitabh Kant had said at an event organised by IAMAI.
Image credit: Freepik