Dotmic is an e-commerce search engine startup based out of Kochi, Kerala that helps people search and compare prices of products from different online stores. The founder Dipin Prakash initially wanted to work for Google, but decided to make his own e-commerce search engine in 2012. In a conversation with Dotmic, we learn about the company and their future plans.
“Dotmic is one stop solution for online shopping in India. The user gets to search and compare hundreds of stores along with checking the product and store reviews. It’s the google for shopping,” says Dipin. They have high speed search algorithms that enable its users to search across millions of products from hundreds of stores. Wider product range and much faster processing helps customer browse, compare, select and continue with their online shopping experience compared to any other online store in India. They use self-developed web crawlers called dotbot to gather product information form 460 stores with about 7 million products.
“We have partnered with 59 stores and is our main source of revenue. These stores include amazon, Flipkart, Jabong, Myntra and all other major stores operating in India,” says Jiji Sukumar, their CMO. Dotmic operates on 3 servers in the US and 2 in India. “We consume 7TB of data every month. Most of the bandwidth is consumed by Dotbots (automated web crawlers developed by the company),” he adds.
A large product collection poses the big challenge for searching. When a user enters a query Dotmic has to search all 7M products for the occurrence of these keywords and it has to do this in a second or less. For this they have developed a new search algorithms. “We have recently integrated Hadoop into our server to calculate the search relevance. Though our algorithms are fast enough to deliver thousand of results in milliseconds, we are working on even faster once that can manage our future demands,” says Dipin.
This 2 member team based out of Kochi wants to capture the data from all 900 e-commerce stores in India before expanding to other countries. Dotmic got selected to be incubated at Startup Village last year. Startup village is the country’s first not-for-profit Public Private Partnership (PPP) telecom business incubator. The promoters of Startup Village are Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, Technopark, Trivandrum and MobME Wireless. Dotmic recently released its first free API. The API enables users to get product data feeds, which can integrated into both web and mobile platforms to build search, comparison engines or as a source of information in blogs. The API makes it easier for programmers to build product search platforms and saves the trouble in managing and searching millions of products online. The information provided by the API includes product name, price, image, seller info, description, product link and date of update.
As a message for future entrepreneurs, Dipin said “Never wait for the perfect plan. Work out a rough for a year, another clear plan for the first 3 months and then start executing your plan. Improvise your plan on the go.”