Southeast Asian startup 8villages, a mobile social network for smallhold farmers, started in Indonesia in January 2012 as a new way for farmers to buy and sell using a mobile device. It offers farmers in Southeast Asian rural villages access to important information about farming-related topics like weather forecasts and crop prices – stuff that’s crucial to crop yield and farm profit.

3.4 billion people live in rural and sub-urban areas. Their average disposable income is growing significantly and they are in constant need for better products and services. But complex distribution channels and costly marketing options make it difficult for private and public sector to engage with those new rural consumers. 73% of rural consumers own a mobile phone. By leveraging on the highly social attributes of rural populations, 8villages offers marketing solutions that leverage SMS, voice and web technologies, allowing you to dialog with your consumers and understand their needs. Now technology is redefining the way they share, connect and make decisions. This revolution is having a profound impact on the way companies sell in emerging and rural markets.

8villages was created with the intent to harness the power of crowd sourced, user generated content in rural areas. They build and deploy social tools that combine SMS, voice and internet. We partner with mobile carriers to foster a free exchange of information and enable better decision-making by farmers and, more generally, public and private stakeholders

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