Indian e-commerce payment giant PayTm announced that it has acquired New-Delhi based Cube26 Software Pvt. Ltd, an AI focused startup. The firm was backed by Tiger Global and Flipkart, who had invested around $7.7 million (INR 50 Crores) during the seed round in 2015. PayTM has not disclosed the value of the deal.
Cube26 was founded by Akash Jain, Abhilekh Agarwal, and Saurav Kumar in 2012.
According to sources, PayTm is looking upto Cube26 expertise in improving the user experience on its mobile platform.
Commenting on the deal, Saurav Kumar, CEO of Cube26 said, “Our team has been building technology products that are used by millions of users. I believe our diversified experience in creating smarter products across software and hardware segment will help add value to PayTM and to several of its products & services”.
Madhur Deora, Chief Financial Officer at Paytm said, “We are focused on building a more immersive and feature-rich mobile experience for our large active user-base”.
Cube26 offers customization of Andriod platform, as well as apps to OEMs (original equipment manufacturers), with an objective to provide better user experience & product differentiation. It counts several prominent handset makers as its customers, including the likes of Panasonic, Karbonn, Micromax among others.
AI based start-ups are seeing a huge interest among the investor community as well as the large corporations. SenseTime, the China based AI firm has raised $1.2 Bn in funding this year, within a duration of 6 months from prominent investors including Alibaba Group.
The talent shortage in the AI field is turning out to be a big challenge for corporates in rolling out their AI programs and keeping abreast with the competition. The acquisitions of start-ups with rich AI talent seems to the best bet in quickly augmenting the resource pool and accelerating the company’s AI ambitions. The readily available products, as well as patents, are a big bonus in such acquisitions giving a much-needed edge to the large corporations.