Read the full story by Jason McLure, published by the Tuck School of Business.
Nathan Sharp, Tuck ’12, and Greg Kimball, Tuck ’12, teamed up early in their first year at the Tuck School of Business, determined to start a business together. They quickly ran into a number of dead ends. “Together we brainstormed, wire-framed, and pitched several truly awful business ideas,” says Kimball.
“We’re essentially creating the universal shopping cart,” says Nathan Sharp, Tuck ’12, about the online shopping app, Nifti. (Image courtesy Tuck School of Business)
Eventually a managerial economics course at Tuck spurred what they hope is a winner. Now just over a year after graduation, they’ve secured $800,000 from Google Ventures and other angel investors for their online shopping app, Nifti.com.
Their idea was to create a tool that would disrupt all kinds of Internet shopping the way Priceline upended the pricing model for travel purchases. Just as Priceline allows consumers to bid on flights or hotels for less than retail, Nifti allows users to put a desired price tag on goods from toasters to dress shoes to computers from any of hundreds of online retailers.
When the price for the good drops to the desired level at any site that sells the product, Nifti fires off an email to the would-be buyer. Not only does this save users from having to constantly check prices on different sites, it also levels the playing field for consumers in an environment where online prices can change by the minute or vary based on the web browser or zip code of the online shopper. Unlike other online shopping tools or recommendation sites, Nifti advises customers not just what they should buy, but when they should buy it. Retailers benefit too, gaining demand and pricing information for products directly from interested consumers.