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Flipkart Labs’ Ajay Venkatesh & Sai Krishna VK Join Polygon

Both the executives, who headed tech and innovation division at Flipkart Labs, left the company

Sai Krishna and Ajay Ponna will lead a critical unit called Developer Studio at Polygon

After ending their full-time roles at Flipkart, Ajay and Sai will continue to serve as advisors to the ecommerce giant, giving advisory on AR and web3 pod

Flipkart executives Sai Krishna V K and Ajay Ponna Venkatesh who headed tech and innovation at Flipkart Labs, have left the company. 

Krishna and Ponna have now joined the leadership team of blockchain startup Polygon as senior vice presidents. They will lead a critical unit called Developer Studio, which closely works with developers to onboard more than 1 Bn users to the platform, Ajay Ponna told this to Inc42.

“Flipkart will continue to hold a special place in our hearts! It believed in our capabilities and in 3D/augmented reality, which led to the Scapic acquisition in November 2020. Flipkart has allowed us to be entrepreneurial by enabling us to set up Flipkart Labs, scale Flipkart Camera and expand towards Web3/Metaverse by helping us launch Firedrops and Flipverse,” Ponna said. 

However, both the executives will continue as advisors at Flipkart. They will be giving advisory on augmented reality (AR) and web3 pod as subject matter experts. 

Meanwhile, they also plan to deep dive into the web3 space via Polygon and their other portfolio companies.

Under the leadership of Sai and Ajay, Flipkart launched FlipVerse and Firedrops in 2022. It also partnered with web3-focused startup eDAO. 

Notably, the two Flipkart executives had earlier founded augmented reality startup Scapic in 2017, which was later acquired by Flipkart in 2020. 

The development comes at a time when Flipkart is currently looking to accelerate its grocery segment. 

Its CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy today said that grocery is an under-penetrated segment in the ecommerce industry and Flipkart is planning to drive growth in the grocery arena. 

Recently, Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy also talked about the company’s IPO plan. He said that the Walmart-backed ecommerce giant would mull over multiple geographies including India for its IPO-listing.

“The (IPO) listing will eventually happen. Regarding geography, we will look at multiple regions. There is no final decision on any of these aspects at this stage,” Krishnamurthy told brokerage firm Jefferies. 

Flipkart was also reported to be in advanced discussions to acquihire online pharmacy startup Pharmallama, which is operated by the parent company Mera Dawai. 

Flipkart also announced that it would not give salary hikes to 4,500 senior employees this year. The 4,500 employees are said to be working in Grade 10 and above categories. 

The move was taken to help the company achieve profitability and also, retain cash flow.

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