In order to prove our first prototype service was valid, we need to prove the value proposition we are proposing. Users are already paying very small fees to collect pricing information. That proves there is some value in getting this information.
The second assumption is that there are actors in the supply chain willing to pay for you to connect them with these prices.
While sunflowers are not produce, they are grown in fields next to corn and beans! So when we got a request for sunflowers from a retail customer in Nairobi, we couldn't help but seek out the price.
They paid for a dozen sunflowers (and in winter they were expensive), and they paid for a transaction fee we added onto the total price.
The sunflowers were delivered within 24 hours and the customer feedback was very positive.
So there's proof that brokers, or middlemen, add value. And there's proof that retail customers are willing to pay for that. 10% in this case.
What we don't know yet is if wholesale agricultural traders are willing to use our service in lieu of what they already use. In order to prove this assumption, we had to go to the source: urban markets.