Punit Soni floats machine learning startup 'Learning Motors'

8 Nov, 2016

Former Flipkart chief product officer Punit Soni's startup has been named 'Learning Motors' and will be in the area of machine learning.

Soni last week announced the incorporation of the startup through tweets. Soni, who had worked with Google in the past, returned to Silicon Valley after he quit the e-commerce firm in April to work on his startup project.

Soni had earlier shared on Twitter and LinkedIn that he was launching the startup along with Anshu Sharma, a venture partner at Storm Ventures and an early investor in US-based enterprise software company Nutanix, which completed its initial public offering (IPO) early last month. Sharma is also a co-investor with Soni in Razor Pay, a payment gateway firm based in India.

It has also turned out that Chamath Palihapitiya, founder and chief of Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm Social+Capital, is associated with the venture. Palihapitiya, a former top executive at Facebook, is an investor in some of the renowned high growth tech companies in Silicon Valley including SurveyMonkey. Launched in 2011, the investment firm is one of the fastest ever to reach $1 billion of assets under management. Palihapitiya is likely to be an investor in Learning Motors but Techcircle could not independently verify this.

An email sent to Palihapitiya for a confirmation did not elicit any response till the time of publishing this report. Soni has not responded to email queries as well.

Besides being a top executive-turned-entrepreneur, Soni is an adviser and investor in at least three startups, including Razor Pay as well as two Silicon Valley-based startups—HeadSpin, a testing platform for mobile apps, and Krypton, a mobile alternative service provider.

Most recently, he invested an undisclosed amount of capital in Innov8, a sector agnostic co-working space.

Soni said he will would prefer people to ideas when it comes to putting his money. "I advise companies only if I feel I can put my money in them. If I am not comfortable putting my money into a firm, I don't think it is worth putting my time in it," he said in an interview with Techcircle immediately after his exit from Flipkart earlier this year.