Blockchain startup Polygon has hired two senior executives from Flipkart Labs, Sai Krishna VK and Ajay Ponna Venkatesh, to lead its Developer Studio.
The unit works closely with developers to onboard more than 1 billion users to the platform. Both executives previously headed tech and innovation at Flipkart Labs, where they launched Firedrops and FlipVerse in 2022 and also partnered with web3-focused startup eDAO.
Ajay Ponna said, “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.”
However, both executives will continue to serve as advisors at Flipkart, offering their expertise in augmented reality and web3.
The move comes as Flipkart is looking to accelerate its grocery segment and considers multiple geographies, including India, for its IPO listing. The company has also announced that it will not provide salary hikes to 4,500 senior employees this year to achieve profitability and retain cash flow.
Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy recently said that grocery is an under-penetrated segment in the e-commerce industry, and Flipkart is planning to drive growth in the grocery arena. The company was also reported to be in advanced discussions to acquihire online pharmacy startup Pharmallama, which is operated by the parent company Mera Dawai.
Flipkart was acquired by Walmart in 2018 for $16 billion and has been expanding its operations since then. The company is a major player in the Indian e-commerce market and competes with Amazon and Reliance Industries.
In 2020, Flipkart acquired augmented reality startup Scapic, which was founded by Sai Krishna and Ajay Ponna in 2017.
Polygon, formerly known as Matic Network, is a Layer 2 scaling solution for Ethereum. The platform aims to improve the scalability and interoperability of Ethereum by enabling faster and cheaper transactions.
Polygon has been gaining traction in the DeFi space, with several DeFi projects, including Aave, SushiSwap, and Curve Finance, integrating with the platform.
The addition of Sai Krishna and Ajay Ponna to the leadership team at Polygon is expected to boost the platform’s efforts to onboard more developers and users.
The Developer Studio unit led by the executives will play a critical role in driving the adoption of the platform and expanding its ecosystem.
Overall, the move highlights the growing interest in blockchain and decentralized technologies in India, as more startups and established companies looking to explore the potential of these emerging technologies.