Vishakhapatnam-based data analytics startup Unihalt, run by Unihalt Technologies Pvt Ltd, has appointed Danfeng Li, a director at Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, as an advisor, a top company executive told VCCircle.
“Li will be advising us on data science and analytics for our startup. We will connect on emails and Skype as he will continue to be based in China,” Ravi Raja Konathala, the co-founder and chief executive of Unihalt said.
Li, an industry expert in data science, data analytics and startups, joined Alibaba in 2014. He has formerly worked with Microsoft, Opera and Yahoo. Li is an engineering graduate from Tsinghua University and holds a PhD in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Unihalt is a data analytics company that operates in the ed-tech and tourism segments. It received an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Singapore-based Govin Capital in August last year.
Konathala added that the startup is looking to raise its next round of funding.
“Unihalt is working on a very interesting and promising sector, the tourist industry, with a very special point of entry—ID authentication and public safety. All the data Unihalt is accumulating today will become valuable assets in the future,” said Li in a statement.
The startup captures real-time information of tourists as they check-in at hotels, service apartments and home stays.
“We are expanding the tourism vertical with a smart initiative to ensure safety in cities. We do crowd curation of data and bring out valuable insights,” said Konathala.
Late last year, there was speculation of Alibaba Group marking its entry into India as the Chinese e-commerce giant set up its first office in Mumbai.
In the second quarter of FY2016-17, Alibaba reported strong revenue growth led by its core business as well as the digital media and entertainment segment. Revenue rose 55% to 34.29 billion yuan, or $5.14 billion, for the three months through September 2016 from 22.17 billion yuan, or $3.49 billion. Revenue from the company’s core commerce business rose 41% year-on-year to 28.49 billion yuan.
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