Tell us a few words about the founders and how the idea came
Over 300 million small and medium-size farmers across Africa and other emerging markets rely on agriculture to survive. However, due to their size, they have no direct access to traditional retail channels and as a result are forced to live on less than 20USD per month, i.e. below the poverty line. With such low income, providing good education to their children becomes impossible and they are forced to join their parents and follow their footsteps, hence perpetuating the poverty cycle. On the other side, thousands of customers are looking to buy these fresher and naturally grown products but are faced with so many inefficiencies on the process, ranging from bad traffic to long lines in stores or the big mess on the street markets that turn buying fresh and vegetables a highly inconvenient experience. So when I became aware of the challenges of the small farmers, decided to join forces with my two other co-founders: Anila – an agriculture engineer and entrepreneur: Aquilino – a system analyst and programmer, and with my business and technical skills founded Izyshop – Mozambique´s multi-awarded online platform that connects the small and medium-size farmers and consumers with same-day home delivery. Today with Izyshop not only our customers order online locally grown fresh and vegetables and receive them home in the same day, but we have helped farmers move to over 100USD of monthly income, and won some awards in the process, such as the recent Slush Global Impact Showcase in Finland.
Link to online video (if available)
Your products and services
Izyshop is an online platform that connects small and medium-size farmers to consumers seeking a more convenient shopping experience. At Izyshop, we crowd-source existing producers locally and catalog them based on their location and product offering, along with other relevant information. The customer logs on to our platform ordering their products and thousand other grocery items, and chooses to pay online or upon delivery. Once the order is placed, the producers receive an automatic notification trough their normal cellphones (it does not require a smartphone) and the order gets delivered to the customers within the same day.
Your success factors
Convenience. We offer our customers the convenience of having access to a wider list of products including fresh and vegetables in the comfort of their home, with same day delivery, knowing that not only they are receiving fresher products but also contributing to the increase in over five times the income of the farmers.
Your factors differentiating and disruptive compared to the existing
Prior to Izyshop, our customers had to spend a whole day to buy fresh and vegetables, having to scour the street markets and facing big crowds, long paying lines and bad traffic. On the other side, the producers had to depend on more 7 layers of intermediaries in the supply chain to sell their output which left them with very little revenue from the sale of the products, pushing them below the poverty line. Today, our customers have online access to a multitude of products online paying the same price as with brick-and-mortar stores, and the producers have direct access to consumers, allowing them to earn a better income from their production.
Your business model (how do you make money?)
We have three revenue sources: Product margins, delivery fees and advertisement on our platform.
A few words about your competitors
Currently our competition includes the brick-and-mortar supermarkets and the street markets which offer no value to customers compared to our offering for the same price.