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    Date submitted
  • 28-Nov-2017

Loo Lab

Abstract

In rapidly urbanizing areas, small exhauster truck businesses are unable to keep up with the demand for pit latrine emptying services due to inefficiencies in their operations. Thus, when a latrine fills most low-income urban areas, manual emptiers use buckets to empty the waste and dump it in the environment. This results in high rates of diseases such as cholera and dysentery. Loo Lab enables exhauster trucks to grow their businesses by improving the efficiency and profitability of their daily operations. Loo Lab’s integrated suite of technologies connects truckers to customers, intelligently routes truckers to clusters of customers, and streamlines payments for emptying services. The technology allows individual trucks to save time and money and bring basic sanitation services within the reach of bottom or the pyramid customers.

Additional Questions

Who is your customer?

Loo Lab has three distinct types of customers: Loo Lab’s primary customer is the exhauster truck companies who benefit from Loo Lab by accessing a broader base of customers to serve as well as increased profits from logistical efficiency gains. Low income household customers are a secondary customer who are benefitting from access to a safe and affordable emptying service through the Loo Lab platform. Finally, municipalities and project engineers are the third type of customer that can use Loo Lab's data to evaluate interventions, identify bottlenecks in the system, and optimize new processes.

What problem does this idea/product solve or what market need does it serve?

At current prices, many low-income people cannot afford to pay for their latrines to be emptied in a safe and hygienic manner. As a result, poor households are forced to rely on unregulated informal service providers who perform the emptying job without proper tools then dump the waste in the nearby environment, posing a serious threat to public and environmental health.

What attributes will make this idea/product successful? Why do you believe that those features will create success?

Loo Lab develops and equips exhauster truck entrepreneurs with the tools they need to increase the efficiency of their operations and expand their businesses to serve low-income communities. Our integrated suite of technologies will include the following core functions: 1) connecting service providers to customers on a centralized platform, 2) intelligently routing trucks between customers, transfer stations, and disposal sites to avoid wasted time and fuel, and 3) streamlining payments using mobile money. Ultimately, LooLab's platform increases the efficiency and decreases the price of emptying, bringing it within the reach of the bottom of the pyramid.

Explain how you (your team) will execute to make this idea/product successful? What gives you (your team) an advantage over others already in the market or new to this market?

Our team has extensive experience working with exhauster truck drivers, low-income households, and in the sanitation space. Collectively we have almost 35 years of experience working on urban sanitation challenges in the developing world.