Vendedy is a social enterprise start-up that is digitising the street vending industry via mobile technology. For the first time, street vendors can upload photos of their products online via mobile so that a traveling consumer can search, purchase, and pay for an item via SMS. Local agents deliver the product to the consumer’s hotel during their stay. Vendedy leverages a global mobile SMS platform to support commerce in third world markets. This innovation streamlines the whole purchase and payment process not only for street vendors but also for the traveling consumers. While street vendors get a fair deal and global marketplace for their crafts, consumers can access remote artisan designs that come with a story from over 150+ countries in real time.
Two billion people live on less than $2 dollars a day and make their living selling handmade crafts on the street. These people are often exploited by wholesalers purchasing items at a fraction of their value and upselling in Western markets. This leaves street vendors around the world in a cycle of poverty and dependence. Street vendors who use Vendedy earn 9 to 14 times their annual income in weeks because they are paid a fair price for their goods, market value, as opposed to local undervalued prices. On the other hand, 66% of global consumers want to purchase unique items that create a social impact, but can only access them via fragmented channels like NGO’s, boutique websites and sporadic craft fairs. Furthermore, many of the 1.1 billion people who travel the world annually search for products that symbolize their experience abroad. But they buy items at airports, hotels and malls despite the fact that most authentic products are located in street markets. We want to leverage mobile technology to revamp this global supply chain and connect street markets to global consumers.
OUR VENTURE EXPERIENCE
We applied to The Venture to showcase to the world the powerful implications of a digitized street market economy, while fighting for a shot at a million dollar prize to launch it. The competition provided us with a great platform to do this. The marketing exposure and the opportunity to network with global social entrepreneurs from other countries was incredible. The Venture exposed Vendedy to the world in a way no other competition could have. It was a great experience.
In the short term we would like to have a user network of 20,000 in 2016 and across several countries. Our long term aims are to increase and further the travel app in order to source local street food and products from around the world. We want to become the number one network for sourcing localized products while people travel, and to be the network that brings offline street commerce online; a $10 trillion dollar black market economy now digitized.