Wowway Labs Pvt Ltd, a Bangalore-based startup that owns and operates the online product comparison platform FindYogi.com, has raised Rs 55 lakh ($92,081) in funding from Raju Vanapala, the founder and CEO of Way2SMS. Vanapala has invested in the firm in his personal capacity. The funds will be primarily used to strengthen the technology and data team of the startup.
“I believe Vanapala’s investment brings in more than just money. His experience of running one of the most used and profitable web applications in India is a great value addition as a mentor,” said Naman Sarawagi, co-founder of FindYogi.
The startup was founded in October 2012 by Sarawagi and Anil Bhat. Prior to setting up FindYogi, Sarawagi, who holds a BE degree in Computer Science from Maharshi Dayanand University (Haryana), was the product manager at ZipDial. Earlier, he had worked at companies such as Pluggd.in (now NextBigWhat.com), Freecharge.in, Webchutney and OnYoMo. An NIT (Karnataka) alumnus, Bhat holds a BE in Information Technology and earlier worked at Yahoo and Novell.
The site enables consumers to make better buying decisions by leveraging its comparison platform. The company collects first-hand data about standard products and through its proprietary algorithm, rates them based on their features. The application also tells you if a given product is rightly priced, when it is compared to similar products available in the market. For the same, the site features a FindYogi Index that rates every product on a scale of 0-5, based on its pricing and features.
While the site is only offering comparison for mobiles and tablets as of now, the company plans to add categories like laptops, cameras and other consumer durables in the coming months.
“With FindYogi, we are looking to reduce buyer’s remorse by helping them make better buying decisions. A bad purchase decision is not only painful for the consumer but is also bad for the industry in the long run. But we still have a long way to go in terms of products and reach before we can claim that we have solved the problem successfully,” added Sarawagi.
Commenting on the investment, Vanapala said, “The space around shopping assistance and buying decisions is interesting. Given the buzz around e-commerce in India, consumers are coming online for shopping-related activities. Although a lot of them may not end up buying online, the decision-making still happens on the web. Given the founder’s work at previous startups, I trust FindYogi should make it big in this space.”
Thanks to the e-commerce boom in India, a number of price/product comparison sites have come up. Some of the key players include MySmartPrice.com (which has pivoted from a basic price comparison site to a product discovery platform), and IndiaBookStore.net (for books), PhoneCurry.com (for mobile phones), Indiaprice.com and ShoppingWish.in. But the biggest and the most prominent rival is Amazon’s (the world’s largest online retailer) Junglee.com, an online shopping service that enables customers to find products from online and offline retailers in India and also from the parent site Amazon.com.
(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)