FatLens – Profile
HQ: Palo Alto, CA
Management: Co-founders/President/CEO is Nanda Kishore who hails from NetDynamics. He is buddies with Verity CTO Dr. Prabhakar Raghavan who is listed as an advisor and Junglee founder Dr. Anand Rajaraman who also invested through his venture firm Cambrian Ventures.
Investors: Company was incubated at IM2 – a universal instant messaging app. Fatlens received an $8M Series A Investment from Redpoint Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Cambrian Ventures in February 2005.
Business Model: eCommerce meta-search engine. The company’s preview launch targets event ticket search aggregation. It is unclear at this point if FatLens will seek to create a destination site or license the technology to portals.
Competitors: MySimon, Froogle, Craigslist, eBay. The company claims that it doesn’t compete with Craigslist, eBay, etc. because it is a meta-search engine and crawls these sites, however, in terms of consumer mind share, it certainly does.
Dirt: After reading the company’s self-promotions, the user experience was a big let-down, leaving us to ask: “Where’s The Beef FatLens?” For example, FatLens boasts of IM integration, but all it does is provide links to AOL AIM and Yahoo! Messenger. Big friggin’ deal. We have bought a number of tickets online to Giants and Yankee games, as well as plenty of plane tickets, and FatLens’ interface looks no better or worse than most sites. There is plenty of experience in this company so we’ll give them the benefit of doubt, but they need to make a better first impression.