A Year in Review: July 2014-July 2015
The Vendedy story has captured the hearts of thousands within the past year. Prior to incorporating in July 2014, the founder traveled to over 30 countries tracking the complexities of street markets and meeting with various street vendors because of the connection the personal project had to her past. Christine Souffrant is a descendent of 3 generations of street vendors from Haiti and lived most of her childhood street vending alongside her mother and grandmother in the streets of Haiti and New York. After completing an undergraduate degree at Dartmouth with a Bill Gates scholarship, she started a career in banking before quitting 2 years later to pursue a masters degree in Dubai and launch the project that is known today as Vendedy.
In March 2014, the founder of Vendedy entered a global competition to join 1000 university students selected as global change makers at the Clinton Global Initiative University Summit. It was an incredible experience and was the foundation for a pilot project in Brazil during the World Cup, a pilot test in Haiti during the month of September with over 8 global volunteers, and a beta launch in November with 10 of the top 100 vendors of Port au Prince. With vendors earning up to 14X their annual income in 2 weeks on the Vendedy bidding network, partnerships press networks came streaming in to follow the progression of this new social enterprise startup. The year ended with 3 market pilots in two highly volatile street market countries- Brazil & Haiti- and a partnership with IBM. Expectations was mounting on whether Vendedy could actually digitize access to street market products on a platform set to launch in 2015.
The Etsy bidding marketplace for street vendors was not a sustainable into the new year, so the company pivoted to an open market platform for tourists to source information about street markets. Pilot launches continued throughout 2015 with this business model adjustment and Vendedy continued to get recognitions from press, global competitions and partners as more and more testimonials circulated across its social media networks. By November, during a 24 hour campaign, Vendedy received over 300 street market photos of travelers engaging with street vendors across 40 different countries solidifying the increased anticipation for the platform launch.
What’s Next for 2016?
With on the ground market tests with street vendors in 2014, and consumer demand in 2015, Vendedy will be issuing a series of app releases throughout this year. The first order of business is to centralize access to street markets and we are engaging our supporters with this endeavor. To keep track of network developments, follow us on social media or sign up for access to future app releases now. Stay tuned!