Among this latter group, however, Grimshaw says there is no real consensus on how to generate income in the absence of transaction fees. Some are pursuing registration fee structures and some are planning to charge for value-added services while others are really not sure. "Clearly, the revenue aspect of these dot-coms is an evolving issue that is becoming more and more important as investors look more closely at how dot-coms intend to become profitable," he says. On this point at least, the agricultural exchanges have plenty in common with the rest of the B2B world.
Erika Morphy is a freelance writer based in Washington, D.C.