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BookAdda.com Gets Funding From Former Infosys Director Pai; Why?

Bangalore based BookAdda.com has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from former Infosys director TV Mohandas Pai and Ranjan Pai, from their $100-million (Rs 500 crore) private equity fund launched last August, reports The Economic Times. The investment is a part of a total $35 Million infusion into two US based and two Indian based companies. BookAdda.com, a dedicated online bookstore which claims to have a collection of over 10 Million books with more than 22,54,279 authors, was acquired in 2010 by Infokarma services, IndiaDigitalReview had reported.

Are Books Enough? Price Comparison

The Indian eCommerce space is very competitive with companies like Flipkart, Infibeam, HomeShop18 and Indiaplaza, among several others, offering books to subscribers, apart from other products. Books, a standardised product, are typically an entry into online retailing for many companies. So, why would anyone, at this point, invest in a dedicated online bookstore when there is little or no differentiation apart from the price? Customers will always fly to stores that provide the cheapest possible commodity and BookAdda’s competition are already well established players with more lucrative deals for customers. One thing that perhaps differentiates them from their competitors is their book trailer section: customers can listen to a preview of the book in audio format before ordering it; however, not all books come with a book trailer feature, and we’re not sure if it is enough of a differentiation, where in a market where price rules.

While BookAdda.com has been solely concentrating to carter the book space, it’s competitors; Flipkart.com, IndiaPlaza.com are into books and much more. When we compared the price of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins across all the established stores, we found the the lowest price is offered by IndiaPlaza.com even after taking into consideration the 5% or Rs 10 discount offered by BookAdda after liking their Facebook page, which is again a one time offer. Also, While Flipkart and IndiaPlaza even gives an option to buy books on EMI with their tieups with Citibank, ICICI, and HDFC banks, BookAdda.com does not offer any such options nor does it support the ever growing mobile payment mode.

Do we really need yet another online book store? Not unless BookAdda differentiates themselves from their competitors on price and feature front.

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