Fresh out of Y Combinator, SaaS startup Anakin has raised $ 2 million to continue developing its software that allows e-commerce companies to see live price data on their competitors.
Mohit Prateek and Rashmi Bala launched the company last September and officially launched in March to help e-commerce stores and brands increase revenue using data on prices, products and trends from other companies. While the company’s nickname is indeed the name of a character from “Star Wars,” CEO Prateek said he chose it more for name recognition than a passion for movies.
Prior to founding the company, the co-founders were already working at the intersection of artificial intelligence and e-commerce at companies like Flipkart and Truefit.
Prateek, in particular, was just trying to solve the pricing problem at Flipkart with a large team optimizing SKUs across geographies and channels. He then left to create other startups, but continued to receive inquiries from ecommerce companies for help with pricing. It was when the number of calls increased that he asked Bala, who he already worked with, if she wanted to start a business.
“We had clients before we even started building the business,” Prateek told TechCrunch. “We didn’t have a product to sell them, it was just me advising them on how to set it up. “
Here’s how the technology works: Company A prices an item, say a tomato, and everyone has to price their tomatoes the same way to get buyers to buy it from them. instead of company A.
Rather than trying to guess what the best price will be, Anakin automates the management and pricing of millions of competitor SKUs using data like inventory to deliver that information in real time so retailers can increase their revenue. , on average, up to 12%.
Anakin started out in the grocery business and has now expanded into food delivery, ridesharing, and travel. While he hasn’t been able to disclose clients, Prateek said the company is working with some of the larger companies in those spaces.
In fact, before securing the round table, the company was already profitable. He didn’t need to increase the turn, but Anakin was just running fair with the two of them and wanted to expand quickly into multiple industries and geographies, he added.
The company, with operations in San Francisco, Singapore and India, secured new capital from Y Combinator, HOF Capital, Austen Allred, ACE & Company, Integrity, Pioneer Fund and a group of angel investors.
So far, Anakin is increasing its revenue by 24% every month and has a presence in more than 10 countries, Prateek said. The funding will be used to hire additional staff to have more boots on the ground in other countries. The company will also invest in product development, expanding into other categories and creating a self-service tool.
“We started in the middle of COVID, and we were afraid it would shut us down, but even mom-and-pop stores are online and competing with Amazon,” he added.