The Level Market (TLM) is the first online marketplace that is focused entirely on the $100 billion per year industry of humanitarian procurement. Despite the sheer market size and increasing demand for aid products, no one has yet attempted to build an Amazon-style platform due to the complexities and requirements that come with the territory. TLM’s dream team combines industry and tech know-how to unwind and streamline the process of identifying, comparing, quoting and purchasing the goods necessary to stem suffering and save lives in crises and poverty situations.
The burgeoning refugee crisis, unacceptable poverty numbers, and the increasing number of natural disasters, are adding to the response load of NGO and government entities around the globe. Although there are millions of organizations resourced with billions in funding focused on these problems, all face the same troubles when procuring goods. Whether its tents and blankets following the Nepal earthquake or solar lights and medical supplies to keep clinics running through the night, it is cumbersome and time-consuming to identify the right product at the right price, and determine vital inventory and shipping information required to ensure timely delivery. Paper catalogs, one-by-one Google searches, and endless phone calls remain the norm. Meanwhile, people suffer, die and fall deeper into poverty.
While working in developing countries and conflict zones ourselves, we witnessed the explosion of marketplace success stories around the globe as we continued to struggle with the archaic processes in our field that seemed to breed high prices and low quality options. Recognizing this gaping hole in a huge industry fulfilling crucial needs, our team’s aim is to make purchasing a water filter for a child in Africa as easy as buying a book on Amazon. It’s possible!
With input and support from every sector of the aid world, TLM has built and launched a site that hosts instant purchases as well as a custom quote function that pairs perfectly with the requirements of NGOs and government procurement practices. Our custom ‘hybrid’ platform (e-commerce plus quotes) is populated with a growing list of products from multi-million dollar blue chip suppliers and transactions are underway. Endorsements from Whole Planet Foundation, Save the Children, Team Rubicon, Mercy Corps and global product alliances are rolling in.
The Level Market will launch in June 2016 with more than 30 suppliers listing 100+ products. Growth opportunities are numerous as the aid universe is ripe for change. With industry know-how and connections, combined with the power of technology, ecommerce will serve humanity.