Offline price comparison service, Pricebaba launches in Delhi (NCR) and Pune; partners with Innoz

Mumbai based Pricebaba, a location based search engine which collates information from offline retailers for mobile phones and tablets, has extended its services to the Delhi and Pune. With this extension, Pricebaba enables consumers in 5 cities to hunt  for bargains on mobile phones (across 26 manufacturers) and tablet devices in their vicinity over 350 shops, the company said in a statement.

In terms of traction, PriceBaba’s smartly done Kaju Katli campaign (i.e. urging Google to name the next version of Android to Kaju Katli, following Jelly Bean/ICS etc) has gotten them a lot of traffic and founder, Annkur Agarwal shares that the traffic has been increasing steadily (grew 100% from August to September). The team expects traffic to reach million uniques by next year September.

Pricebaba has also partnered with mobile search engine firm Innoz,  so that users can get services over sms. In April this year, Innoz had crossed the 1 million SMS searches a day and served over 35 million queries a month from Indian users, growing at around 1,000% a year.

Earlier, in May 2010 when we have profiled Pricebaba, it was offering services only in Mumbai. In addition to aggregating information from retailers it also recommends stores including price history tool that highlights the price fluctuations for a given mobile phone.

From our earlier conversation with Ankur Aggarwal, Founder, Pricebaba:

Pi: How are you collating pricing info from local retailers? What’s the ‘guarantee’ that this is the lowest price at which retailer can offer the product (or is it still open for bargaining)?
We do not want to just collect rates from the retailer and push it to consumers, that opens up the system to being gamed and controlled by the retailers (remember retailers quoting less than cost price on similar sites some years back?). But given our retail backgrounds we are working with the supply chain to get the best bargains to consumers. Can some retailers beat that price? Yes. But for vast majority of the users, they would benefit from the guidance we give.
At the same time, we are busy building solutions that would address the friction you pointed.

Pi:  What’s the refresh frequency of price list?
More than once a week. At times before the market knows about the price change. But not all prices change every week / day.

Pi: What’s the monetization model?
Many avenues. But we want to engage the users and then explore those channels over time. We need to carefully craft our model, we cannot afford to lose the trust of the users. Quite search engine like dilemma there!

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