Rubie Trader: The digital market on WhatsApp

Informal Market in Harare, prices, 2021

Rubie Trader is an innovative digital platform that allows people to sell, buy products and to get tenders using WhatsApp anytime and anywhere. It is a one-stop-digital market for SME, informal market traders and corporates which saves you money, and time. Zimbabwe’s economy requires speed, connections and access to different options given the price fragmentation and hyperinflation.

Customer were enduring the hustle of joining dozens of WhatsApp and Facebook groups to track quick deals in the market. Some corporates use Mobile Apps but unfortunately, data bundles are expensive. To get a product one has to make several costly telephones, or spend lots of money on transport or walk for long hours searching for the option that suits the pocket. The economic challenges in Zimbabwe require every cent to count but on the other hand,  there are serious price distortions. The consumer and traders require low cost, quick and easy to use solutions.

With this innovative platform, all you need is one WhatsApp number +263 71 900 4442 which you save as Rubie Trader in your contacts. You then simply send via WhatsApp a key word “trader“, after which you get a menu to register and start accessing the platform for a wide range of services.

Rubie Trader enables the buying and selling of a wide range of products and services which include, vegetables, meat, building materials, cars, car repair, plumbing, schools uniform, chicken, cattle, goats, computers and phones, piece jobs, clothing, houses to rent, land and buildings. Rubie trader uses WhatsApp to replace the traditional yellow pages or newspaper advertising columns and websites.

If you are looking for a product to buy, WhatsApp Key word “Trade” to the Rubie Trader contact number, simply chose the option “buy“. You will be given a menu with several product categories where you can enter the specific product name you want, the location and the price.

The system matches your request and gives you several options for sellers their products and contact details. You select the sellers you need and get in touch with them to close the deal. In the future, the product selection and payment will happen on the platform. A buyer is allowed up five product searches per day. The good thing is that this is all free of charge for buyers. There is no need to make several telephone calls or to spend money travelling to markets. You get the options available on WhatsApp.

If you want to sell products, select the option to “sell” and follow a very easy 1-step instruction to register your name, location, product price and contact details. Once that is done, the system will automatically match your products with buyers who will then get in touch with you. As a seller, you can use a dashboard to update and manage the products that you are selling. You also get a summary the prices being offered by other sellers in the market for similar products

Rubie Trader allows borrowers and lenders for microloans to find each other and especially those who want peer-to-peer loans. Any person who wants to lend money simply registers as a seller putting the amount, terms and conditions. Borrowers go onto the platform and submit a simple request indicating the amount they want and location. The system will match the requests using the amounts, location and terms and then alert the borrower who is then given a list of potential lenders to chose from. The lender and borrower will complete the transaction and agreement directly offline. In future the platform will handle everything end to end.

Those with projects or investment opportunities can also register on Rubie Trader and will be matched with potential funders. A potentially very useful service is for tenders.  The platform enables people to register, subscribe and receive tenders from up to 20 different tender categories in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zambia. The system matches the customer requirements with the available tenders. The customer can receive the available tenders on demand anytime by simply sending a key word trader to the platform. New tenders are uploaded every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. A customer is allowed our access per day. The tender services enables customers to access many tenders available without spending money on newspapers and or searching several internet sites. Using WhatsApp, business will be in your fingertips.

Sellers pay ZWL$5 per month per product listed while tender subscription costs ZWL$5.00 per month. Buyers will access the platform free of charge. Customers will pay using mobile money.

Rubie Trader is an innovative product which is greatly needed in the Zimbabwean economy which is driven by the informal markets.  In addition, the solution is inclusive because people from rural and remote areas who generally struggle to get access to markets just need WhatsApp to be integrated to mainstream economy.  Sellers who may not afford to advertise in radio, TV or newspapers can use the platform. In addition, sellers can now trade from home which will decongest markets like Mbare and save traders a lot of money in transport and space rentals. Buyers can also have access to a wide variety of products while in the comfort of their homes. The solution is also handy given the Covid-19 restrictions. Most importantly, all this is done using your WhatsApp bundles.  

Rubie Trader was developed and launched by Rubiem Innovations a leading company in digital innovations. They have a wide range of disruptive solutions which are meant to solve pressing human needs. They can be found on,,, +263 78 266 4402



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  1. Cleopas

    This is the kind of innovation that this economy requires, very cheap and affordable. Everything in one basket. Kudos to the Innovative company

  2. Tafadzwa Sigauke

    This is wonderful

  3. Mildret kujinga

    A quantum leap towards real financial inclusion, without these pillars to support mobile money, financial inclusion is just a buzz word.Well done

  4. William Chui

    Too many red flags when it comes to violations of the WhastApp commerce policy:

    To first start off with, this app/service doesn’t use the official WhatsApp API, so, that’s a red flag already.

    Then the products and services that one is allowed to access, are banned by WhatsApp.

    If this is a company that is a “leading company in digital innovations. They have a wide range of disruptive solutions which are meant to solve pressing human needs.” then it leaves a lot to be desired that they would do such.

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