A Q&A with Priceonomics co-founder Rohin Dhar. The San Francisco–based company was founded early this year and raised a $1.5 million Seed round in early May. Investors include Spark Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, and SV Angel.
SUB: Please describe what Priceonomics is, and the value proposition you offer to consumers and retailers.
Dhar: Priceonomics is the price guide for everything. We tell you how much your used stuff is worth on the market. Basically, we try to make sure that you never get ripped off when you’re buying or selling anything on Craigslist, eBay, or wherever.
SUB: Who are your target users?
Dhar: Most of our users are people researching something they want to buy. They’re interested in knowing the price of the item used so that they can get a good price. Sellers also use us as a tool to convey that they’re offering something at a fair price.
SUB: Who do you consider to be your competition?
Dhar: Our competition is the back button on your browser. The Internet is a huge place and you need to stand out.
SUB: What differentiates Priceonomics from the competition?
Dhar: It’s the only way you can figure out what something is worth for most of the categories we analyze. For things like bicycles, refrigerators, washing machines, computer speakers, and turntables, we’re the best pricing resource on the web.
SUB: What is the technology behind your price guides? Is it a curation process, or is it algorithms that produces best prices for specific items?
Dhar: Our price guides are algorithmically generated with only minimal human curation.
SUB: When was the company founded and what were the first steps you took in establishing it?
Dhar: We just participated in Y Combinator in the Winter Class of 2012. We had started the company shortly before that.
SUB: What was the inspiration behind the idea for Priceonomics? Was there an ‘aha’ moment, or was the idea more gradual in developing?
Dhar: Our founding team are basically Craigslist scavengers that love getting good deals. For me, the idea struck when I bought a bike for $300 on Craigslist. I didn’t like the bike, so a week later I sold it for $900. I thought, this is crazy, it’s the same bike.
SUB: What have the most significant obstacles been so far to building the company?
Dhar: We’re basically trying to build structured product catalogs of every product ever made. It’s a huge challenge.
SUB: You just raised a $1.5 million Seed round. What are your plans for the new funds?
Dhar: Team. Team. Team. Team.
SUB: Do you plan to raise more outside funding in the near future?
SUB: What are your goals for Priceonomics over the next year or so?
Dhar: To be the price reference that everyone uses before they buy or sell anything.
Priceonomics – www.priceonomics.com