Both Amazon and Alibaba have demonstrated that selling digital ads can be a profitable antidote to the low margins inherent in selling goods online. Now Flipkart, India’s e-commerce leader whose backers include Yuri Milner and Tiger Global, is trying to follow suit.
Flipkart already sells basic sponsored listings and home page ads to marketers like Vodafone and Renault. But now it’s looking to do more. The company is talking to advertising technology firms that operate in India, like InMobi, about how to better leverage its valuable consumer shopping data to automate ad selling across its sites and possibly others, as other e-commerce giants have done.
The company has recruited engineers from companies like Yahoo to build an ad platform, and it is looking to recruit more ad tech talent from Silicon Valley, according to people who have spoken to the company.