Location-based price search engine Pricebaba.com raises seed funding
Pricababa.com, a location-based price search engine for mobile phones, has received an undisclosed amount in seed investment from a group of investors. The investment was led by Karamveer Singh (founder of Ayush Software Pvt Ltd) and other investors were Dinesh Tejwani of Fast Fact Computer Systems (acquired by Thomson Reuters), Aditya Mishra (founder and CEO of SwitchMe.in), Ashutosh Rathi (partner at Basil Partners Advisory Services LLP) and Ranjeet Walunj (technology chief at The Service Solutions). All the investors in this round invested in their personal capacity and the money raised would be primarily used to develop the product further and increase the team size.
"We love the fact that all our investors are also entrepreneurs. We intend to use the funds for strengthening the team and further developing the product," said Annkur P Agarwal, co-founder and C2C (since he handles all the roles â€“ from clerk to CEO) of PriceBaba. He also mentioned that the fund would last a year, post which the company would be raising a bigger round.
The Mumbai-based startup was founded by Agarwal and Tirthesh Ganatra (lead developer), and the site went live in May 2012. Prior to PriceBaba, Agarwal had worked with HeadStart Network Foundation and Kratee E-commerce And Consulting Ltd. He holds a BMS in Marketing from Bhavan's College, Mumbai. Ganatra holds a B.Tech in Java Programming from Kalol Institute of Technology & Research Center, Gujarat, and worked at KYPES and TransientWay (where he was also the co-founder). As of now, the team size is four and the company plans to increase it to 10 in the next 3-4 months.
The site enables shoppers to search for mobile phone prices offered by brick-and-mortar stores in their vicinity. It currently covers Mumbai, Pune and Delhi-NCR, and features more than 350 verified mobile phone retailers on the platform. The startup claims that each of these stores has gone through a two-step evaluation process, which also includes a personal visit by a verification team. The company plans to expand its offering to seven more cities in 2013. Going forward, it will also add related information like directions, pictures, store timings, credit card acceptability, etc.
"Ankur and his team came up with the idea of connecting mobile phone buyers with mobile shops, thereby ensuring the lowest price for the consumer and more business for the seller," said Tejwani of Thomson Reuters. The startup also points out a recent Google India survey that indicates 70 per cent of offline shoppers do their product research online before visiting a store.
While the company is yet to figure out the monetisation part of the business, it is currently focusing on building the platform and getting more visitors. "Since the launch, we have been organically growing the site traffic by 50 per cent month on month. The aim is to have a million unique visitors per month by the end of 2013," said Agarwal.
Last month, Pune-based Simplibuy Technologies Pvt Ltd, whose WiC platform also helps users discover attractive prices, products and stores in select cities, raised an undisclosed amount from Silicon Valley-based seed-stage investment firm Ecosystem Ventures.
(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)