Commoditrader, an online commodity marketplace founded by Danish entrepreneurs Julie Koch Fahler and Ida Boesen, was launched on Thursday (Sept.5) in Romania, the first country in Eastern Europe where this platform is available.
Romania has a share of 53.4% of agricultural land in its territory, and although owns one third of the farms in the European Union, far more than any other EU member state, it has only 4% of the total agricultural production in the region, according to Eurostat, based on data from 2016.
“We choose Romania because is a market in rapid development, with a population of openminded people, ready for change – this we consider a key aspect for opening up for a new way of trading. Romania is also one of the largest producers of grains in Europe, though the structure of the trade calls for optimization in order to give better market access for the farmer in Romania, and it is, therefore, one of the highest priorities to our business,” Boesen said in a statement.
Commoditrader was established in 2018 with the mission to democratise tradeflows for one of the oldest and biggest industries in the world: farming.
Boesen's knowhow on the industry from being brought up on a swine farm in Denmark and since then specialising all her professional career within food & agriculture matched with Fahler's experience in IT & tech startups from around Europe set the stage for what is now Commoditrader:
“A platform that will transform the way farmers, tradehouses and feed mills connects and trade today. From manual to digital; From lengthy to efficient; from outdated to modern” the company says on its website.
The Danish app allows customers to find more sellers and buyers and easily access and identify the best prices and contract terms in agricultural markets, locally and internationally.
“In the agricultural sector, we look at a gap where a lot of farmers are serviced typically by only a few trading houses. When opening the market and giving access to more potential buyers or sellers in the market to sell or buy, we make sure that the farmer and trading house, gets more bids when entering the market,” Fahler said.
“Today, normally a farmer calls 2-3 traders to ask for prices and terms. In general, you can say, that the more you are asking, the higher chances you have of getting a better price for your goods, and an effective settlement. When Commoditrader is then offering a service that spreads the selling/buying interest, you make sure you get the best price available in the market – also across geographies,” she added.
The Copenhagen-based fintech is backed by investors Jytte Rosenmaj and Ole Bjerremand Hansen, founders of Idavang, a company which provides animal production and processing services in Demark, Lithuania, and Russia.
“At Idavang, it is our top priority to reduce feed costs, as this cost covers well over half of our production costs. Therefore, I see this platform as a unique opportunity to open up so that more people can join the bid when we enter the market to trade” Rosenmaj, Vice-President of Idavang and Chairman of Danish Farmers Abroad said.
Commoditrader has won the award New Nordic Fintech startup. The team is working hard to prove that it is worth the praise and is on a roll to launch across Eastern Europe during the coming months. It also plans to offer financial services to deliver cheaper financing, credit insurance, credit scoring and fraud prevention to the farmer.
It is clear that the future of farming has become digital.