Annkur Agarwal is a Mumbaikar who has been completely immersed into two things for more than a decade- Entrepreneurship and Mobile Phones. And he is yet to turn 30. Starting to work as a student, Annkur used sell stuff online and then moved to offline retail for close to 5 years. Annkur then founded OnlyGizmos, a website that wrote about consumer electronics for another 5 years. Having gained expertise in the area, people kept bugging Annkur with recommendations for buying mobile phones and this is what gave birth to PriceBaba.
PriceBaba is a shopping intelligence engine that helps users buy phones (for now, will expand into other categories). It is a location based search engine, helping shoppers to search prices in their vicinity and then buy offline. In an announcement today, PriceBaba is now a 500 Startups company and will be joining the next batch of the US based accelerator. Karamveer Singh and Dinesh Tejwani have also invested in PriceBaba.
About the model
PriceBaba provides listing of the phones on the site and make their money from retailers and brands. “I haven’t learnt so much in the 11 years of my experience in the internet domain as much I’ve learnt since we started PriceBaba in 2011,” says Annkur. He plays the role of a product manager in this 10 member strong team and work with a common aim of making shopping for the consumer easier.
Yes, it’s a long term game and there is a lot of legwork required but the value add is equally high. “The model is great and a need for consumers in India. The success will only depend on how quickly the team is able to scale up,” says Dinesh Tejwani.
Currently, over 400 retailers in Mumbai are listed on the site. “We have grown over 350% this year and we’re doing about 40% MoM,” says Annkur about their consumer numbers.
We’ve often heard that raising funds in India is tough. There are funds to deploy but the challenge is with the risk taking appetite. For an upcoming startup ecosystem, it is tough to figure out what works and investors tend to be doubly sure before investing and this puts the entrepreneurs off sometimes. But things are changing. With foreign investors coming in, Indian investors are also loosening the purse strings.
Annkur shares his 500 Startups experience:
It has been fun. 500 understands angel investing. In fact, we began talking to them in December last year. We met Pankaj and Paul in Mumbai and pitched to them. They were interested and we continued talking. However the decision to join the Mountain View accelerator as well was taken when Dave and co were touring India for Geeks On A Plane earlier this year. One of 500s mentors Kyle Wild managed to convince us and we managed to give our confirmation before the deadline Dave had put forth (basically before he completes 2 bottles of beer, though I still think he was probably on his 5th by then).
Now, it’s not necessary for every investor to have this kind of an attitude but when you’re angel investing, there’s not really much you’re backing apart from the entrepreneur.
This funding round will help PriceBaba go quicker and they have set an aim to be in 10 cities by the end of the year.