Myntra acquires wearables maker Witworks

Bengaluru: Myntra has bought Bengaluru-based start-up Witworks, a maker of wearable devices, for an undisclosed amount, as the Flipkart-owned online fashion retail firm looks to diversify and launch new categories, even as it invests heavily on newer technologies such as Artificial Intelligence.

The latest acquisition effectively allows Myntra to enter the wearables business, even as the retailer is looking to go beyond core fashion and grow sales in categories such as personal care, jewellery and home accessories.

In the past five years, Myntra has made at least half a dozen acquisitions, most notably that of smaller rival Jabong, which it bought as part of a cut-price deal of $70 million. The latest acquisition is an acqui-hire of sorts for Myntra, with the entire team of Witworks being absorbed into Myntra Innovation Labs. Witworks was launched in 2014 by IIT Kharagpur graduates Somnath Meher, Ankit D.P. and Chandrashekhar Iyer. In 2016, Witworks debuted its flagship device, Blink Watch, which runs on a voice-based platform.

“Wearables is currently a Rs300 crore industry in India and is growing rapidly, with online contributing 60%. This acquisition will help us solidify our position in this segment and enable us to develop and launch cutting-edge wearable products like smart shoes, connected smart watches and interactive/intelligent clothing with biosensors,” said Myntra chief technology officer Jeyandran Venugopal.

Myntra said the latest acquisition will allow the retailer to develop wearable products for its in-house brands. Myntra has a number of in-house brands or private labels, such as Roadster, Dressberry, Anouk and actor Hrithik Roshan’s HRX brand.

Mint reported earlier on Monday that Myntra has switched its focus to using its resources to expanding sales faster from trying to turn profitable, while also launching a digital TV channel called Myntra TV on YouTube.livemint


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