DAO.EU launched in July 2017 as the first multi-buyer/multi-seller online brokerage platform for dairy commodities in the EU.
A few years earlier the founders had identified a significant opportunity for producers, traders and processors in the B2B dairy market. With experience in brokerage platforms that traded vegetables and fruit in the EU, the founders felt sure a more sophisticated, efficient trading model would benefit the industry –they also knew they’d have to get it absolutely right in order to convince a relatively conservative sector.
Their first move into the online space began as an online auction site. It had quite an impact in the industry, but the founders quickly saw that something more comprehensive and completely independent was needed, so they started talking to Nui.
Rik Loeters, one of the original founders, remembers the first conversation he had in 2016 with Kevin O’Sullivan from Nui.
“I knew Nui had a robust platform in the exact space we wanted to operate in – 24/7 online brokering for multiple buyers and sellers and completely independent.
“Over a coffee we started mind mapping on a piece of paper, fusing their platform’s functionality and capability with our expertise and ideas. One year later we launched DAO.EU,” said Rik.
DAO.EU’s 24/7 online brokerage platform quickly gained traction, saving traders precious time, offering real time market information and broadening trading networks in an increasingly challenging marketplace.
Membership has grown to 60 companies, with 15,000 metric tonnes of dairy products traded in 2018 and they continue to track strongly in 2019.
For DAO.EU having an independent trading platform is key said Richard Klink, DAO.EU’s Sales and Marketing Manager.
“Nui oversees the entire back office. We don’t see any additional information on the market trade conducted. We simply see an overview once a month covering total brokerage fees in that month,” said Richard.
Delivering focused value to its members has led DAO.EU to introduce high-level functionality to meet industry specific requirements.
“One of our most valuable features is Counter Party Selection where members can deselect companies they don’t wish to trade with for one reason or another. That feature was a direct request from a couple of large producers and end-consumers, so we worked with Nui to make that a feature of the platform,” said Richard.
DAO.EU continues to develop the platform with Nui, with a new interface on the way as well as a live chat box where buyers and sellers can anonymously ask each other questions.
“The dairy industry is changing all the time and we need to make sure we’re here to support our members and open new doors. For instance we’re seeing a growing focus on companies pursuing a more B2C model, looking to trade more high value products which can often require a more personal approach.
“DAO.EU’s trading platform is an efficient way to focus their commodity trading, to be able to put more resource into trading niche products. They will save time and tap into invaluable real time market information. It’s a serious competitive advantage that can directly power up their trading team,” said Richard.
The ability to spot pricing trends early is one of the most valuable aspects of the platform. As one member noted, ‘one trade on DAO.EU gave me more information than a week of trades on EEX.’
Well into its second year, DAO.EU is gaining increasing attention, with a growing number of members. The understanding from the outset that it needed to create a trading option with clear advantages, ease of operation and competitively priced has paid dividends for the company and its members.
“Our whole approach has been one of partnership – with our members and with Nui. From the outset Nui have worked beside us ensuring we fine tune everything for maximum member value. The functionality of our platform is world class, we have long-term relationships with key people at Nui and their response rates are incredibly fast. That’s the world we operate in, it’s a world Nui understands and it’s exactly what our members expect from us. In a time of change in the dairy industry around the world, DAO.EU delivers a solid advantage.”