Micromax invests in price comparison platform Scandid, to ride the m-commerce waveHarshith Mallya
Micromax Informatics Limited today announced a strategic investment in Scandid, a mobile-first savings discovery platform. Founded by Sushil Choudhari and Bhaskar Thakur, the app helps customers compare prices and discover discounts across e-commerce to help them make informed choices. Founded in 2013, Scandid was earlier known as ShoppingWish and had raised funding from Silicon Valley-based investor Sandeep Johri and others. In May 2015, Micromax had also invested in another startup, nutrition and fitness tracker app, HealthifyMe.
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Incorporated in Silicon Valley and based out of Pune, Scandid helps customers compare prices, find cash saving coupons and discover discounts in different categories such as electronics, apparel, kids, home, and books across multiple e-commerce stores (Flipkart, Snapdeal, Amazon etc). They also help local retailers and potential customers connect with each other. In the past year, Scandid claims that they have helped customers save more than INR four crore on online shopping. The app is available on Android, iOS, and web avatars and includes features such as barcode scanner based comparison, 'WowDeals'- where users can shake their phones to discover deals and local location-based promotions.
The platform currently monetizes only through B2B channels with affiliate marketing from e-commerce stores. In the future, they plan to monetize the ‘Featured section’ in their app providing more prominent 'digital real estate' to specific products. Coming to offline (local) stores, Scandid is currently seeding that section and plan to monetize by generating high volume leads for offline retail stores in the future. For generating revenues, they currently have an equal split of 50% across mobile and web platforms. With Micromax's backing, they estimate that their mobile presence and transactions will increase drastically in the near future.
On the thought process behind the investment, Micromax Co-founder Rahul Sharma said, “We have always believed in providing value to our customers. Today users do not want to switch between different apps for shopping, be it online or offline. We have a roadmap to provide integrated services and leverage the mobile as a platform to converge these services.”
About the association with Micromax, Sushil, Co-Founder of Scandid, said, “Scandid’s presence on all Micromax smartphones will provide a rich shopping experience to Micromax users out of the box. As m-commerce grows and mobile becomes the key platform to not just shop but also compare to get best deals, this investment will help us reach the last mile customer and strengthen our position.”
Scandid claims that their current traction is organic through word of mouth and customer referrals. They plan to launch a visual search tool in their app in the coming months to appeal to diverse needs of more users. In the future, they also plan to list an inventory of offline retailers on their platform to help them gain traction and orders. The current team consists of 22 full times employees, with 15 in development roles and others in sales and marketing etc.
The boom in Indian e-commerce sector has indirectly led to dependent products and services such as cashback and affiliate marketing platforms, price comparison portals etc. Founded in 2013 by IIT KGP graduates, BuyHatke raised $1M in funding from Kris Gopalkrishnan, Japanese e-commerce and investment company BEENOS. Then there is MySmartPrice, which recently raised $10M in series B funding from Accel Partners with participation from Helion Venture Partners, following a $1M series A round in 2014. Then there are other players in niche sectors such as FindYogi (latops, tablets, phones etc), DiscountMe PriceCheckIndia, and PriceBaba.