A good market intelligence approach provides startups with an ongoing bird’s-eye view of the market. And, with a bird’s-eye view of the market, your company can stay strong in volatile markets, rapidly pivoting when necessary.
Offline retail dominates most product sales in emerging markets such as Africa, motivated by informal trade and cash-based transactions.
Owing to this, data gathering on the actual market value of products becomes challenging, however, to establish or grow their presence in such markets, local and international brands rely on data such as market size and value, consumer profiles and purchasing power, and penetration of competitors’ products.
To prevent brands from entering emerging markets blindly, Rwazi, a market intelligence startup, is bridging the gap by offering market intelligence supported by information gathered from customers according to a Techcrunch report.
Rwazi co-founder and CEO Joseph Rutakangwa stated that, unlike larger research firms that make inferences based on sample data, the startup simply wants unit-level data such as product sizes purchased, frequency of purchases, and consumer geographic location.
The startup’s expansion plan and product launch are backed by a $4 million seed round led by Bonfire Ventures, with participation from Newfund Capital and Alumni Ventures.
The startup, which was founded in 2021, is now expanding in emerging markets, including Africa, where it asserts to have a presence in 40 countries. They are also available in Latin America and South Asia markets.
Rutakangwa, who co-founded the startup with Eric Sewankambo, stated that the company is releasing new products this year that support different languages because this has been a barrier to its growth in these areas.
The startup claims that multi-language support will help them scale in their present markets while expanding the demographic data of their customer data.
Customers log their purchases using a web or mobile app and are compensated for verified submissions on Rwazi’s platform.
After several ineffective iterations, including using agents and sales teams, the startup decided to source data directly from consumers.
According to Rutakangwa, multinationals can access data on who is buying what, for how much, from where, when, and why by using Rwazi.
Furthermore, because brands are getting data from the source and can see how consumers make purchasing decisions, they can do hyperlocal messaging, pricing, and packaging.
Rwazi collects data on product usage, frequency of consumption, household budgets, and income. The data is focused on the requirements of its SaaS product subscribers.
Rutakangwa claims that Rwazi was inspired by the need for up-to-date data, as well as the frustrations they experienced while trying to obtain timely market insights in their previous jobs.
He claims that the most readily available data, often provided by state agencies, is either outdated or concentrates on general trends, lacking the granular data required for accurate action. Former African Leadership University (Mauritius) students set out to fill this void.
Rwazi, which was a Techstars Los Angeles accelerator program participant last year, currently has a network of 50,000 users and 18 multinationals monitoring more than 200 different products across industries such as fast-moving consumer goods, healthcare, telecommunications, and financial services.
Some businesses are using its platform to find new locations for growth or to make investments to increase their competitiveness.
Others, he says, are exploring markets that are growing and have good demographics, where they can establish themselves and capture future sales.
Featured Image: Joseph Rutakangwa (Left) and Eric Sewankambo (Right), Rwazi Co-founders
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