Books Aggregation Site ThisYaThat Launched In Beta; How Does It Fare Against Big Daddy Junglee

26 Mar, 2012

Another startup has joined the Indian e-commerce band-wagon and this one's following in the footsteps of Amazon's India focused e-com referral site Junglee.com (although unlike Junglee that provides a range of products, the newbie is focused solely on books and textbooks as of now). ThisYaThat.com is a referral site that allows customers to search for books and then compare real-time results from Indian e-commerce websites to get the book at the lowest available prices.

Once you have selected the site you want to purchase the book from, you will be redirected to the seller's website to make the final purchase (like Junglee, ThisYaThat doesn't handle any transactions).

The company was founded in June, 2011 by Shiv Kapoor and Aneesh Satnaliwala. Later, Gaurav Ragtah was added to the team to complete the back end development. The three of them have completed their schooling from India and are currently undergraduate students in the US.

"We want ThisYaThat to be the smart way to buy books in India. We help our users compare prices, delivery times and payment options across leading online bookstores in India on the same page, for free," says Kapoor.

The company has been a member of the Wharton Venture Initiation Program at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania (Kapoor and Satnaliwala are students there) since September 2011. This program is primarily an educational incubator for mentorship purposes and does not provide funding.

The Website

The layout of the website is a very basic and clean; it has a search bar that allows users to search for books by its title, author or its International Standard Book Number (ISBN). Users can also select from a number of bestselling books that are showcased right below the search bar. For providing the results, the website searches e-commerce websites like Flipkart, Infibeam, Crossword, uRead.com, Indiaplaza, Landmark, BookAdda and BuyBooksIndia, among others.

Once you search for a book, the website shows a list of e-commerce websites that are offering the book and the price at which they are offering it. For example, we searched for The Immortals of Meluha and got prices ranging from Rs 98 (uRead.com) to Rs 137 (Flipkart.com). The website also compares the delivery time of the websites that are offering the book (24 hours for Indiaplaza and 4-9 days for BookAdda.com) and also showcases whether the Cash on Delivery (COD) payment facility is available for that particular book.

Revenues & Funds

The website does not charge the customer any additional money for offering the comparative results. The company plans to generate revenues by charging a commission fee from the sellers for all the buyers that are redirected from the site in the future, but as of now that is also free.

The firm is self-funded as of now but Kapoor says that they will look to raise funds in the coming months.

ThisYaThat Vs Junglee

As Kapoor points out there is no comparison between the two since his company is small fish in comparison to Junglee.

But there are three major differences between Junglee and ThisYaThat. The first one being that while Junglee aggregates results from both online and physical retail stores, ThisYaThat is only limited to the online space. The second difference is that Junglee offers a range of products (over 12 million products or SKUs if you take their word); ThisYaThat is focused only on books. Lastly, (and here ThisYaThat actually has the upper hand) while Junglee offers results from almost all the major players in the e-commerce space, big boys like Flipkart and Infibeam are not part of it. ThisYaThat on the other hand does show results from these key local e-com sites as well.