Food-tech unicorn Swiggy has acqui-hired Kint.io, a two-member artificial intelligence startup which applies deep learning and computer vision to identify objects in videos.
In an acqui-hire, a company is bought out for its talent, rather than its services or products.
Swiggy said in a statement that Bengaluru-based Kint.io’s co-founders Pavithra Solai Jawahar and Jagannathan Veeraraghavan will come on board to boost computer vision technology and consumer experience. The duo had started Kint.io in 2014.
“This acqui-hire is part of Swiggy's strategy to scale our tech prowess by bringing in entrepreneurial teams that can solve unique customer problems, while leveraging the network and resources at Swiggy,” said Dale Vaz, Swiggy’s head of engineering and data sciences.
Recruitment solutions startup Belong.co served as the consulting partner for Swiggy’s first technology-led acqui-hire, the statement added.
Swiggy had in August last year acquired online startup Scootsy Logistics Pvt. Ltd, which delivers food, fashion apparel and accessories, home décor, and more in Mumbai
In December 2017, Swiggy had acqui-hired Bengaluru-based gourmet Asian food startup 48East.
Run by Bengaluru-based Bundl Technologies Pvt. Ltd, Swiggy is currently the market leader for food delivery in India.
In its biggest-ever fundraise till date, the company raised $1 billion last December from Naspers, Tencent and other investors. Swiggy’s other backers include venture capital firms SAIF Partners and Accel.
Swiggy primarily competes with Zomato besides Foodpanda and UberEats. Foodpanda India was acquired by homegrown cab-hailing major Ola in 2017.
After its latest fundraise, Swiggy’s valuation skyrocketed to around $3.3 billion.
Both Swiggy and Zomato posted net sales in the region of Rs 450 crore in the financial year 2017-18. For Swiggy, this was more than triple the number compared to the previous financial year as it caught up with Zomato.