Startup
Posted: 4 months ago
Author: Nina Gomarteli

Kroudi Launched in Georgia: Consumers Movement and New Ways to Shop

Kroudi is a Georgian startup founded by two Germans living in Georgia for years. The company has been awarded the GITA startup grant in September 2021. The mobile app "Kroudi" is now available for iOS and Android. Kroudi has finished its public beta testing phase and is now launching in Georgia.

Kroudi offers a new e-commerce experience that combines the methodology of crowd-sourcing with the concept of group purchasing. The Kroudi model allows consumers and businesses to circumvent retail and wholesale and buy directly from manufacturers from around the globe. This means Kroudi can be used to buy almost anything at a fraction of the retail price. When consumers unite and formulate their demand together, there is no reason to pay for wholesale and retailers anymore.

Within Kroudi's mobile application, users can suggest a product to buy together as a group by uploading product pictures, product descriptions, links to the manufacturer's website (e.g. Alibaba listing), price, and target order quantity. Other users can see the listings and join a group purchase. They can discuss the product listings in the application, follow users that make good product suggestions and like and share product listings. Only once the target order quantity is reached, Kroudi collects the payments and takes care of the order, quality assurance, logistics, and distribution.

"Group purchasing is not a new concept, but current implementations do not recognize its true potential. With Kroudi, group purchasing finally goes beyond and becomes an effective tool for buyers," says Josuah Rechtsteiner, co-founder of Kroudi. Kroudi's mobile application, users can browse product suggestions from other users that are seeking co-buyers to buy a large quantity directly from a manufacturer. Such a product suggestion is called a "Kroudi". If a user is looking for a certain product on Kroudi but does not find it, the user can create a new Kroudi and invite other users to buy it. Once the target order quantity is reached, Kroudi will collect the payments and take care of the ordering, quality assurance, logistics, customs declaration, and distribution to the buyers' location. Buyers only have to pay once the quantity is reached. The product prices listed on Kroudi are including all costs, i.e. product cost, transportation, customs clearance, VAT, and Kroudi's service fee. The user that suggested a product to buy together will receive 1% of the order volume as a reward. That's how Kroudi provides a new opportunity for people to build a passive income and increase their monthly budget. ''

To allow Kroudi to become the strong consumer movement it has the potential to, it also has aspects of a social network. You can like Kroudis, follow users who make good product suggestions, and share links to interesting products on Kroudi. Because you might have questions about a product you're interested in, there is a comment section for each Kroudi that allows users to communicate and ask questions to make sure they buy the right product. 

Currently, the product suggestions are all based on Alibaba product listings because it is very easy to find products and negotiate with manufacturers on Alibaba. But users can suggest any product from any country as long as it is a good quality product at an unbeatable price.

The idea to establish Kroudi was born when Josuah was looking to buy an e-scooter from Alibaba. To get the most attractive price and reasonable shipping costs, Josuah would have had to order 100 units of it. While imagining how to find an additional 99 people who want to buy the same scooter, he thought there should be an application for such situations.

Sebastian Harke, who co-founded Kroudi and developed the application, points out that "Kroudi is a bit ahead of its time because the e-commerce companies in Georgia and most other countries are currently still riding the wave of aggregating Amazon Shops and branding of Chinese products that they can sell as expensive as possible. At Kroudi, we believe the time is now that consumers decide what quality they want to buy and that they unite to get the lowest possible price instead of buying the products that a reseller has chosen to maximize profits.

It remains to be seen if consumers are ready for Kroudi's service or if they prefer to continue to overpay for all products they buy. Many consumers believe China is on purpose producing bad quality products for low-income countries like Georgia. But in reality, it's the greediness of importers and retailers. They decide what to import. The Chinese just produce what has been ordered. If you order bad quality, you will get it. If you prefer top quality, no problem. People will learn from examples", Josuah adds optimistically. 

Kroudi is not limited to products from China. Kroudi is suitable for any product from any country, as long as buying a larger quantity lowers the price. There's a guideline on Kroudi's website explaining how to create a successful Kroudi, summarizing all important aspects.

Kroudi has the potential to become much more than a way of buying products cheaper. According to McKinsey, we all do time-consuming active research before we buy something. In this phase, Kroudi comes in handy as a neutral source of information. You can see which product other people like you currently want to buy - and why. It is unpaid and unbiased buying advice that you will trust. And the order button is always in reach. Kroudi can be viewed as a channel to express demand rather than a supply-side participant.

The founders believe their early adopters will be buyers seeking high absolute savings like triple-digit and parents. Because Kroudi pays 1% of a successful Kroudi’s order volume to their creators, parents could put some fancy items from their kids’ wish-list on Kroudi and teach their kids how to earn money instead of having to spend it. These two target audiences represent a huge market opportunity in any country.

The founders have analyzed the US and EU as future target markets for Kroudi and concluded that Kroudi can easily enter these markets. Already this year, Kroudi plans to enter Germany and the US. When Kroudi will be internationally active, the prices of products will further drop because order volumes from different countries can be combined as one large order even though the products will be sent to different markets. This will be a game-changer for Georgian consumers that until now had to pay higher prices just because Georgia is a small market.

Kroudi is not another online shop. It is a consumer movement that gives back all powers to the people, improving product quality, choices and enabling everyone to enjoy a better lifestyle within the same budget. You can install it on iOS and Android devices from the App Store and Playstore  and start saving money.