Globally, more than 1 billion merchants are undocumented, meaning that customers cannot find them, cities cannot plan for them, and entrepreneurs cannot learn from them. As a result, small shops are digitally invisible to customers, and cities lack the data to help inform the infrastructure developments to serve them.
Poket is an application that incentivizes people to crowdsource information about small merchants in emerging economies. The app prompts users to contribute information to the system and verify others’ uploads in exchange for redeemable rewards, which encourages reliable input.
Leveraging this crowdsourced information and GIS data, Poket generates free advertising, enterprise insights, and proof of existence for local entrepreneurs. It also provides customers with a wider view of their local business environment and consumer options. The result is a global map of previously undiscoverable retailers, which allows more of them to succeed—and which creates insights to inform city planning decisions.