Voonik appoints ex-Groupon executive as chief data scientist

Himmat Singh Padode, chief data scientist, Voonik
Himmat Singh Padode, chief data scientist, Voonik

Himmat Singh Padode, chief data scientist, Voonik

Fashion marketplace Voonik has appointed ex-Groupon executive Himmat Singh Padode as its chief data scientist, the company said in a statement on Thursday.

Padode was previously leading the data team of coupons firm Groupon, from its Silicon Valley headquarters. He has also worked with companies such as Essar and Religare.

“Voonik is building one-of-a-kind data based fashion company. I think, adding analytics to a completely impulse purchase-based fashion category is a leap of faith,” said Padode in the statement on his appointment.

Previously, Voonik had appointed Prabhakar Sunder, former finance head of Myntra, as chief financial officer and Amazon India executive Raghu Lakkapragada as chief operating officer.

“As we grow and diversify, we want to get more precise on our personalisation model and add layers and habits into the algorithm to show a highly personalised feed. Himmat has hands-on experience in data driven personalisation and prediction models and is an ideal person to lead Voonik’s data team,” said Sujayath Ali, CEO, Voonik.

The startup was founded by Ali and Navaneetha Krishnan in 2013.

Voonik Technologies Pvt. Ltd., which runs the fashion marketplace, had raised its Series B investment of $20 million (about Rs 134 crore) led by venture capital firm Sequoia Capital. Times Internet Ltd, Seedfund, Beenos, Beenext, Parkwood Bespin, Tancom Investments and FreeCharge founder Kunal Shah also participated in the round.

A month later, it raised $3 million (Rs 20 crore) in venture debt financing from InnoVen Capital.

The Bengaluru-based company has made six acquisitions in the past one year, the latest being styling and personalisation app Dekkoh.

In June, Voonik acqui-hired Zohraa, a marketplace for designers and boutiques, to build its e-commerce platform for premium boutiques and independent designers Vilara.

It also acqui-hired Styl, a salon- and spa-booking app, and Picksilk, an online silk store, to strengthen technology.

Prior to that, in February, Voonik had acqui-hired Bangalore-based shopping site for men Getsy and, in August 2015, it bought out TrialKart, a mobile platform that provides virtual dressing room experience. It also took on board four employees from Klozee, which shut its operations last year

Voonik competes with Flipkart-owned Myntra, Jabong (acquired by Myntra), 500Startups-backed StalkBuyLove and Tiger Global-backed LimeRoad, among a host of fashion and lifestyle shopping portals and horizontal players such as Amazon and Flipkart.