Flipkart acquires AI speech-recognition startup Liv.ai

Flipkart has announced that it has acquired Liv.ai which is an AI-led speech-recognition startup that has developed a speech-to-text platform supporting 10 Indian languages. This acquisition would become part of Flipkart’s center voice solution, and help accelerate an end-to-end conversational shopping experience.

This would also help Flipkart overcome its language barrier problem for an adoption of e-commerce. The team of Liv.ai would be joining Flipkart as a part of the deal. The team under the leadership of Ravish Sinha, Vice President, Flipkart, will drive developing the voice solutions, integration with Flipkart app and developing use cases for various categories.

As for Liv.ai, it is founded in 2015, the start-up has built speech-to-text APIs that enable low latency speech to text conversion in 10 Indian languages that include Hindi, Bengali, Punjabi, Marathi, Gujarati, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam.

Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart said:

The next wave of growth of Internet users is coming from Tier 2+ cities and 70 percent of these current internet users are native or vernacular language speakers and this proportion is only increasing. Given the complexities in typing on vernacular keyboards, the voice will become a preferred interface for new shoppers. One does understand that building a voice interface is complex and is especially challenging in Indian context given multiple languages and accents.

Subodh Kumar, CEO, and co-founder of Liv.ai said:

Building a voice interface is complex, and is especially challenging in Indian context given multiple languages and accents. At Liv, we are proud of the team that surmounted many challenging problems to deliver a remarkable Speech recognition solution for India. While Flipkart has been solving for quintessential Indian problems, it is an exciting time for us to join in and solve it together. We are excited with the opportunity that is being presented to scale this up further and make it available to millions of consumers and help them have a deep level e-commerce experience.