Bharti Airtel Ltd, the country's second-largest telecom company, has acqui-hired Quikmile, a Gurugram-based startup that focusses on building technology-enabled logistics platforms, for an undisclosed sum of money.
Airtel said in a statement the Quikmile’s team will join Airtel X Labs, which works on emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and the internet of things (IoT). Quikmile was launched in June last year by former Snapdeal executive Abhishek Verma.
News of the acquisition comes a month after VCCircle reported that the New Delhi-based Airtel acquired the Gurugram-based startup, which offers transport management system that gives a complete digital solution of the supply chain for business and also provide the third party solution, consumer-focused work and every single detail needed with the latest technology available.
Harmeen Mehta, Airtel global chief information officer and director of engineering, said the company would leverage the move to improve the disorganised and inefficient logistics sector in the country through “scalable technology solutions and workforce management platforms”.
Shares of Bharti Airtel Ltd were trading 6.91% up at Rs 450.10 apiece at the time of writing this report.
The Quikmile acqui-hire is one of the several bets Airtel has made on startups in the past few years. Last month, the company said that it would pick up a stake in Vahan Inc., a Benagluru-based startup that uses artificial intelligence models to match job seekers with employers inside messaging apps such as WhatsApp.
In October 2018, it acqui-hired Bengaluru-based startup AuthMe ID Services, which specialises in artificial intelligence solutions. It also acquired the intellectual property rights of AuthMe’s two flagship solutions -- Callup AI and Fintech OCR.
In the same year in September, Airtel invested in a news video app started by veteran journalist and former NDTV chief executive Vikram Chandra, becoming the second company after newspaper publisher HT Media Ltd to back the startup.