Consumer product review site, Reviews42 secures funding from Blume and VenturEast [Interview]

Which is the most credible gadget, consumer product review site in India? While there have been a few sites and a lot of new experimentations, but very few of such product review sites (based on user generated content) have managed to survive.reviews42

Reviews42, a consumer product review site recently raised funding from Blume ventures and VenturEast Partners (representative from Blume and VenturEast would be joining the board of the company) and instead of reviewing the site, we asked a few questions to the founding team.

So here it is:

Pluggd.in: What’s the user intent to review products? Is it because of gift vouchers?

Reviews42 is a community based unbiased product reviews platform. We encourage our users to share their candid product experiences with the community to help everyone avoid costly buying mistakes. This sense of community goes a long way in building a credible platform whose genesis lies in symbiosis.

Having said that we are fully aware that building a community is easier said than done, however, after studying how communities such as Yelp, Tripadvisor, Epinions were built and after understanding what motivates people to write we are sanguine that we would be able to solve the problem. (Case in point: As of today, we receive around 100 + reviews per day and this is just after 2 months of product launch and still there are many important features to be launched)

We do not incentivize users to write reviews. Incentivizing users to generate reviews is a short term view which is bound to fail. We believe in taking the more organic and long term route. So, to answer your question, users write so that they can be part of a community and we do not incentivize users. We, currently, give one Flipkart voucher for best review of the day and that too we would discontinue very soon.

Pluggd.in:  What is your USP?

Our USP is our Reviews and Community. It takes a lot of understanding of behavioral psychology to make people contribute. We are building a community of passionate contributors who share their honest product experiences to help others buy the best products. We also provide product specifications, price comparison, buying tips etc but we consider these as hygiene factors.

Pluggd.in: Business model?

Our business model is to attract qualified buyers to decide on the best products through multiple channels like Web, Mobile etc. Reviews42 will provide them with reviews, price and availability information. It will eventually be monetized by directing this highly qualified traffic to various affiliates.

Our revenue models will be

1. Qualified Lead generation (CPC, CPS). Even today we charge higher CPC primarily because of the quality of users.

2. Content Syndication: Review Syndication and various other types of content syndication for various ecommerce portals and brand webstores

3. Branding activities/Recommendation Services/Listing, Display etc

Pluggd.in: Do you see there is an oversupply of information especially prices for potential online buyers?

This is correct to say that there are too many price comparison portals in India today whereas for us providing price is a hygiene factor. For a user a purchase decision remains incomplete without accurate price information. We believe price comparison portals solve a good part of the problem but still, users need a single destination site with reviews, specification, prices and buying tips. It is relatively easy to build a price comparison portal (and that is why we have a glut of it in India) but it is a herculean task to make people meaningfully contribute online: It requires a very different mind-set to crack that problem.

Pluggd.in: Future plans?

India for long lacked a user generated product research site. A website where people can make informed purchase decision. Our vision is to become that destination site with millions of products providing credible reviews, accurate specifications and real time information on prices and availability. Our USP and forte is reviews and we want to build the entire bouquet of offerings around that. We are launching our price discovery feature in two weeks because a user can make a better decision with price. Moreover we will expose our APIs to third parties to build interesting applications around our content.

Update: The funding news was first broken by Medianama.