Anakin’s Pricing Tool Gives E-Commerce Companies Jump on Competitors

Anakin, a SaaS firm that just graduated from Y Combinator, has secured $2 million to continue building its software that allows e-commerce enterprises to access real-time price data on their competitors. Mohit Prateek and Rashmi Bala founded the firm in September of last year, and it formally debuted in March of this year to assist e-commerce retailers and brands enhance revenue by leveraging price, product, and trend data from other businesses. While the company’s name is based on a “Star Wars” figure, CEO Prateek claims it was chosen for its name recognition rather than a love of the films.

The co-founders have already worked at startups like Flipkart and Truefit at the interface of artificial intelligence and e-commerce before launching the company. Prateek, in particular, was working with a huge team at Flipkart to tackle the pricing problem by optimizing SKUs across regions and channels. He then departed to create other businesses, but e-commerce companies continued to contact him for price advice. He asked Bala, with whom he was already working, whether she wanted to start a business as the number of calls rose.

Prateek told, “We had clients even before we started constructing the firm.” “However, we didn’t have a product to offer them; all I did was advising them on how to put it up.” Company A sets a price for an item, such as a tomato, and everyone else must match that price in order to encourage customers to buy from them instead of Company A. 

Rather than attempting to guess what the best price will be, Anakin automates the management and pricing of millions of SKUs from competitors, utilizing data such as inventory to provide those insights in real-time, allowing retailers to increase revenue by up to 12 percent on average.

Anakin began in the grocery industry and has now extended to include meal delivery, transportation, and travel. Prateek said the business is working with some of the top corporations in those fields, though he could not specify whom they are.

In reality, the firm was already profitable before winning the seed round. It was not necessary to raise the investment, Anakin operating a lean operation with just the two of them and intended to expand quickly across many industries and locations, he explained. Y Combinator, HOF Capital, Austen Allred, ACE & Firm, Integrity, Pioneer Fund, and a collection of angel investors invested in the company, which has offices in San Francisco, Singapore, and India.

According to Prateek, Anakin’s income is rising at a pace of 24 percent each month and the company is active in more than ten countries. The money will be utilized to recruit more people so that there are more people on the ground in other nations. Product development, expansion into other categories, and the creation of a self-service tool will all be priorities for the firm. “We started in the middle of COVID, and we were afraid it would shut us down,” he said, adding, “even mom-and-pop businesses are online and fighting with Amazon.”