Walmart-backed e-commerce firm Flipkart has set up a new innovation arm, Flipkart Labs, to focus and test new Web3 and metaverse use-cases with real-world applications, including NFT-related use-cases, virtual immersive storefronts, play to earn, and other blockchain related use-cases.
Flipkart Labs will also enable the Indian ecommerce company to build and create technology-based solutions to enhance the shopping experience for millions of customers.
Based out of its headquarters in Bengaluru, India, Flipkart Labs will also help “fast-track an in-house innovation capability, which the company said will “shape the future of customer-centric e-commerce in India.”
Flipkart Labs will be housed in the Product Strategy & Deployment (PSD) arm of the Flipkart
Group and will work with talent building technology solutions in this space.
The Flipkart Group includes group companies Flipkart, Myntra, Flipkart Wholesale, Flipkart Health+ and Cleartrip. The group is also a majority shareholder in PhonePe, which is one of the leading digital payments app providers.
The new arm will also look at potential collaborations beyond the organization with brands, merchants, startups, and technologists, as per an official statement.
“We are in the early days of a paradigm shift from Web2.0 to Web3.0 and this evolution of the web/internet built on the concepts of decentralization, openness, and greater user utility, will have a profound impact across many areas including e-commerce,” said Naren Ravula, VP and head of product strategy and deployment, Flipkart Labs, in a statement.
Ravula said that Web3 is poised to play a strong role in India`s digital acceleration.
Flipkart is looking to collaborate with the Web3 community in the country to innovate and set the standard for commerce in the Metaverse.
“We are committed to the growth of the e-commerce ecosystem in India and Web 3.0 leverages the best of latest technology like blockchain for real world use cases that can digitally transform businesses like ours. Some of the use-cases like immersive commerce, NFT-related use-cases and more are very promising and, as one of the first areas of focus in Flipkart Labs,” Ravula said.
Flipkart is reportedly in the early stages of building its own NFT-related business. It is aiming to have the NFT project ready by BigBillionDays, its annual Diwali sale.
Through its new arm, Flipkart is looking to leverage emerging technologies and incubate fresh ideas. The lab will also serve as a vehicle for research across areas including redefining customer experience, logistics or supply chain, and accelerating digital commerce in the future.
The company said that Flipkart Camera, formed after the acquisition of AR/VR startup Scapic in November 2020, will continue to mature under the newly formed Flipkart Labs umbrella.
Flipkart Camera has so far deployed multiple 3D and Augmented Reality-based immersive shopping experiences for its customers.
“As we continue to grow and experiment, we will operate at the intersection of business and technology to make innovation real and relevant for customers. With Flipkart Labs, we are looking at strengthening our in-house innovation capabilities by carving out a dedicated, entrepreneurial team,” Jeyandran Venugopal, Flipkart’s chief product and technology officer said in a statement.