Bangalore based CrawlFish is an online price comparison service which nicely mixes price comparison and lead generation. To start off, the team has begun with information related to Chennai and has ‘indexed’ 84+ shops and covered 50+ areas in the city.
Unlike startups in this domains which mostly focus on either online OR offline behavior, CrawlFish is bringing both online and offline search behavior to the site. That is, you can search for the cheapest online option and order from the online store (CrawlFish will monetize this using affiliate links). But if you want to buy offline, CrawlFish will suggest you shops at location(s) of your choice. You can generate a coupon code and meanwhile, CrawlFish will also send a SMS to the vendor regarding this product enquiry. Then, CrawlFish will connect vendor and the customer and let them carry out the transaction.
Another use-case that CrawlFish is going after is of phone service, That is, you can call them up (+91 9551 400 400) and ask for product suggestion/availability and the support team will bring together both the vendor and the customer.
In terms of monetization model, the online conversion is monetized using affiliates, but the offline part is mainly done using subscription based model – i.e. vendors pay a subscribed amount for a fixed period of time.
What’s interesting and important to note about CrawlFish’ implementation is that the team works closely with offline vendors and keeps the pricing part updated, combined with bringing unique offers from vendors (see the pic above). Merchants can also login and add/edit/delete product, check their product/financial performance etc.
As far as the current product is concerned, it’s a MVP implementation of the long term vision, as some of the hot selling mobiles like Micromax A110 etc are missing from the index. Having said that, CrawlFish is trying to mimic the actual user behavior and isn’t *just another crawler*, but is building a unique IP of vendor relationship/data etc. Certainly an interesting startup to watch out for.
If you are in Chennai, do give CrawlFish a spin and share your feedback.
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