Online fashion commerce market leader Myntra has announced acquisition of Witworks, a tech startup that manufactures smart wearable devices and related software. According to a press release, Myntra has inducted the team into its Innovation Labs as part of the acquisition. This is aimed at strengthening Myntra’s technology team and augmenting its product development capabilities.
The company has not revealed if it was an all-cash deal. The acquisition will enable Myntra to develop wearable products for their in-house brands as well as leverage the technology to drive innovation and enhance consumer engagement in the future.
Private label game
India will have 135 million online fashion shoppers by 2020, from the current 60 million, as per ‘Fashion Forward 2020’ report by BCG and Facebook. Across Myntra and Jabong, there are 11 million yearly buyers (out of the total 60 million online shoppers in India).
For FY 2018, Myntra says has seen 55 percent growth, and its private labels are growing at 100 percent. With the acquisition of Witworks, Myntra has revealed its next strategy.
In the press statement, Jeyandran Venugopal, Chief Technology Officer, Myntra, has said,
“Wearables is currently a 300 crore industry in India and is growing rapidly, with online contributing 60 percent to the total business. This acquisition will help us to solidify our position in this segment and enable us to develop and launch cutting edge wearable products like smart shoes, connected smart watches and interactive/intelligent clothing with biosensors.”
Myntra currently has 14 in-house/private labels across men and women’s fashion, and an offline retail store for their private label Roadster in Bengaluru. Myntra is planning more stores for the same label as well as other private labels.
Witworks Consumer Technologies was founded in 2014 by IIT-Kharagpur alumni Somnath Meher, Ankit DP, and Chandrashekhar Iyer. It launched its flagship wearable device, the Blink Watch in 2016, which operates on voice-based platform, Marvin OS. Witworks also has a range of audio and fitness wearable devices.
Myntra, which received $176 million of fresh capital from Flipkart in February, is actively investing in tech and AI for its platform. Earlier, Myntra’s Chief Strategy Officer Ananya Tripathi had told YourStory that Myntra is also investing in Cerebrum, an AI-led planning platform that shows what is selling and what is not, based on data.
In addition, Myntra will have AI-led designs soon through machines which find out what is popular on social media as well as Myntra and Jabong data. Ananya had added that their AI platform RAPID had started with $10 million, and that they are doubling down on that now. According to her, global retailers are also interested in this technology.
— With assistance by Athira A Nair