City Desk

New D.C.-Based Price-Comparing App Launches

PriceSpotting-3Screens

The D.C. tech scene now has another home-grown app. PriceSpotting—a free app that allows users to compare prices of items at local stores—launched this week and is available for iPhone and Android users to download.

Here's how it works: Users can search for items on the app to see which local store is offering the product at the lowest price. Or users can scan items while they're at a store to see how its price compare with other retailers. If the item isn't available in the app's database , users can upload it themselves so that others can eventually search for it. The success of the app depends on whether people contribute to its inventory; as an incentive, users earn points for the items they upload, which can be redeemed for cash or special sales.

"We help consumers save money and time for local purchases," says Neil Kataria, the CEO and founder of D.C.-based Blue Tiger Labs, the company that developed PriceSpotting. Kataria said during the beta-testing stage of the app, about 5,000 users submitted about 3 million prices (for around 219,000 unique items) in D.C. Next, Kataria says he plans to expand the app to San Francisco and Atlanta.

"It takes four to five seconds to enter some prices," says Kataria. "It's incredible, incredible just to see the activity during the testing period."

The app debuted this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Blue Tiger Labs launched PriceSpotting alongside another one of its homegrown apps: Mobile Merchant, which allows shopkeepers to manage their inventory digitally.

Blue Tiger Labs has its office in Chinatown and currently has 13 employees, nine of them based in D.C.

The apps received money from a number of investors including Mark Ein, chairman of Kastles Systems.

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