Then I built a platform for a kind of expert network for professionals who could help source commodities for a finder’s fee — a company like Nestlé looking for a key ingredient in a certain country, or is there somebody I can talk to in France about grapes? We gathered almost 40,000 people around the world, each representing their market, and we compensated people for their connections.
Through that process, we extracted a lot of intelligence.
Energy and chemical deals were quite big, the frequency was lower, and the deals were dominated by a few big players, whose influence is huge. So, 70 to 80 percent of the expert network queries came from agriculture and we realized that market is fully fragmented. Nobody is dominant.
With produce there are thousands of products and varieties that were never standardized. So, in the beginning, we put resources into building a data architecture to structure the scientific varieties, cultivation types, packaging and gradings. Without such a structure, you can never pile up this type of data.
So, we became a kind of center point of gravity. And once our mass was large enough, we could standardize it.
Can you talk about the role of market intelligence on your platform?
We compile the data, and the data becomes intelligence, and the intelligence attracts users, and many of them turn into premium users, becoming our buyers, our suppliers. They start doing transactions with us, and those transactions create more data and feed back to our data intelligence. So, there’s a flywheel effect that actually gets stronger with time.
Our suppliers, when they deal with Tridge, can deal with many buyers simultaneously without deploying salesmen to many countries. And that aggregated demand gives us better bargaining power.