Pronto – now I get it

ProntoI first wrote about Pronto back in August after I tried unsuccessfully to sync up with CEO Dan Marriott. I don’t like to write about a company without actually meeting one of the founders or management team, but in this case I did because it was interesting and Pronto has an engineering team here in Boulder. Initially, I talked about the software you could install on your machine that would sense when you were shopping and would “pop up” with the best price on the item you were looking at. I quickly got annoyed with this, and uninstalled.

Dan took the initiative and looked me up, and we met during his recent visit to Boulder (he’s based in New York) so he could update me on where the business is now and what it’s doing. The download/install piece of Pronto is still available, but the company has shifted its focus to search. Yes, there are hundreds of shopping search tools out there such as, Shopzilla, and many more. It took meeting with Dan before I could grok the differentiator here.

Dan says that Pronto delivers the “best comparison experience on the web” and says the reason is that Pronto actually crawls 50,000+ storefronts on the net to bolster their standard index.

“Pronto helps consumers find more products and better prices and will display products from any qualified merchant, which means consumers are more likely to find the product they want at the lowest possible price. Most leading shopping search engines only list products from merchants who pay them.” – Dan Marriott

I played around using the relatively unpopular search term “fishing pole”, and Pronto delivered far more interesting and on-target results than either Shopzilla or did.

Next time you need to find the best price on something, give Pronto a shot and leave a comment to let me know if it provides a better experience than what you currently use (or not) and why. I’m sure the team in Boulder would be interested.

Dan also asked me to note that the company continues to hire technology staffers here in Boulder. Hey Dan, put em on the job board.

file under: Blog, Startups