Infosys to acquire digital commerce firm Kallidus


Chennai, April 24 : IT giant Infosys today announced acquisition of digital commerce company Kallidus for USD 120 million (about Rs 763 crore) — its third takeover since Vishal Sikka took over as CEO in August last year.

The country’s second largest software services exporter said it has also acquired minority stake in an air quality monitoring startup Airviz for USD 2 million (about Rs 13 crore).

The move is a part of ‘Renew and New’ strategy adopted by USD 8.71 billion company under Sikka to enhance competitiveness and productivity of current service lines by leveraging automation, innovation and artificial intelligence.

In February, Infosys said it will acquire the US-based automation technology company Panaya for USD 200 million (over Rs 1,200 crore).

Sikka said that Infosys has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Kallidus and its affiliate, which provides digital experience solutions, including mobile commerce and in-store shopping experiences to large retail clients.

“It is an all-cash deal for a total consideration of USD 120 million retention bonus and a deferred component. Kallidus delivers a cloud hosted platform for mobile websites, apps, and other digital shopping experiences across mobile, tablet, desktop, in-store and all emerging channels to large retail clients worldwide,” he said during an investors’ call.

The platform enables retailers to provide mobile specific experience to their customers through an agile and flexible environment, enabling personalisation and delivering customer analytics across multiple channels, Sikka said.

“We also entered into a definitive agreement for an early stage investment of USD 2 million in Airviz to acquire a minority share. Airviz is a personal air quality monitoring startup and a spin-out from Carnegie Mellon University.

“This investment was made out of the USD 500 million Innovation Fund earmarked for investments in disruptive new technologies and positions us as a driving force in fast growing personal health monitoring market with a big data solution that provides indoor air pollution sensing and visualisation,” he added.

Infosys has been aggressively scouting for acquisitions as it looks to catch up with rivals like Tata Consultancy Services and HCL Technologies in terms of growth.

Sikka had said that the company is open to taking over innovative companies in areas like automation and artificial intelligence but is not interested in ‘yesterdays’ companies.

A disruptive innovation typically helps create a new market and value network, and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network (over a few years or decades), displacing an earlier technology.