SlimTrader is the first platform in Africa that allows consumers to purchase services or shop for goods with their mobile devices. This is especially valuable given the slow and erratic internet access on the continent, which leaves residents with the sole option of traveling and waiting in line to conduct potentially simple transactions.
The company has begun operations in four African nations with a sting of early success stories. SlimTrader recently teamed with EarthWise Ferry Service to help reignite the long-formant yet economically vital waterway transportation system along Lake Victoria and, in turn, strengthen the social fabric of the three countries that border it. SlimTrader also created the first Mobile web and SMS ticketing platform in Africa for Aero Airlines, a leading West African Airline.
Through its MoBiashara, SlimTrader helps to widen markets, reduce transaction costs, and facilitate the exchange of goods and services. It’s about getting people what they need, regardless of where they are. Now.
This is how MIT TR explained it
In much of the world, shopping online involves browsing e-commerce sites or typing what you want to buy into a search engine. In countries where Internet-connected computers are a rarity, a Seattle-based startup called Slimtrader hopes to offer Internet shopping via text message instead.
Just like a conventional e-commerce business, Slimtrader relies on interactive databases to handle product inventory, pricing, orders, and payments. But unlike, say, Amazon, it has a database that users can interact with through short message service (SMS).