Underserved populations need affordable access to quality products, and Companies, NGOs, and Governments seek knowledge about the growing Base of the Pyramid market.
18 months ago we set out to create a more reliable way for companies to understand these markets. We built our Mobile Data gathering technologyand a network of Field Agents (local entrepreneurs, students and retail owners ) across Nigeria. This instantly created an infrastructure for companies to leverage when conducting surveys, market research, retail audits, mystery shopping and a host of other use cases. Companies launch data campaigns on our network and field agents receive them in the form of micro surveys or tasks which they perform in their communities. In exchange they receive small rewards which serve as extra income to them while the companies are gaining valuable information to help them improve their service delivery and track competition.
By leveraging our data crowdsourcing platform, we helped companies gather insights in a reliable way, reduced cost and drastically dropped their turnaround time for decision making.
However, we soon realized we could do more. The bulk of the economic activities that go on in emerging markets are done primarily offline and through traditional outlets which are fragmented. This creates huge problems for companies (including startups) trying to provide services and collect payments from these markets. Businesses are starting to realize they need to combine their online efforts with an offline distribution (field agent) network to effectively scale their services and collect revenue in emerging markets.
Today we are launching CrowdForce, Africa’s largest offline distribution network. A platform for businesses of all sizes to leverage our agent network to conduct research, provide services and collect payments in emerging markets. The CrowdForce mandate will start by creating three key solutions:
1. Access to Reliable Data
90% of Consumer Goods sales happen in traditional outlets which occur through a highly fragmented distribution chain and multiple intermediaries. CPGs and Governments already rely on our agent network to get real-time data to improve their supply chain, retail audits, understand consumers and monitor competition.
2. Access to Financial Services
The bulk of the 3 billion underbanked and unbanked are in these markets yet they transact volumes everyday. We will open up our network for Banks and money lending services to provide financial inclusion services on that will reach every community.
3. Access to Cryptocurrencies
While blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies have the power to transform these emerging markets far better than the banking system has done, many of them still lack an easy way to acquire cryptocurrencies. We will open up these network to Digital wallet and Exchange companies to use these network to serve as easy entry and exit points for customers to fund their wallets.
Our goal is to empower 1 million Field Agents with daily extra income while they in turn provide reliable relevant services to 1 Billion customers across emerging markets. These activities will serve to stimulate growth for startups, Banks, CPGs, NGOs and Government institutions.