Software Platform Offers Free Management Solution to Small and Medium Size Dairy Farmers Worldwide
October 8, 2012 | Missy Smith
While working for a Uruguay-based multi-national software company, Eddie Rodriguez von der Becke, whose in-laws raise livestock in Argentina, realized that the same level of technology sophistication that he employed at his company could be used to develop a livestock management system to help his family’s operations run more smoothly and efficiently.
The solution that he came up with was Tambero.com, a free global software solution for agriculture and cattle management. “Our platform is global. This allows us to reach unexpected places where there was no possibility of access to advanced technology in agriculture and cattle software,” says Rodriguez von der Becke.
Tambero.com (Tambero is the word for ‘dairy farmer’ in Spanish), which launched in 2011, currently hosts thousands of users worldwide, mainly made up of small and medium farmers, as well as agriculture students. “We aim to provide a global platform for agriculture and cattle management, based on modernity, compatibility, ease of use and offering more free products for users,” explains Rodriguez von der Becke. “The system offers the possibility to optimize the production of small and medium dairy farmers by applying best practices in the industry.”
He explains that a user can enter his or her data (animals, herds, dairy tests information, genetic and desired output criteria, etc.) and the web management system will then generate information, alerts and recommendations that users can access from any computer, smartphone, tablet or mobile device. “The software can alert when an animal produces less milk than expected in a herd, when it should be moved to a lower production herd with lower food costs, when some animals and insemination services are not proving to be effective, when the best time is to dry a cow before calving or what is the production history of a parcel of land,” Rodriguez von der Becke explains. “Users can print QR codes for each parcel of land, and then they can access this information quickly from the mobile phone.”
And, signing up for an account with Tambero.com is free of charge, which Rodriguez von der Becke felt was key to providing a successful software solution to farmers of all income and education levels. “We offer the cattle management system for free, because we believe that we can make the difference between students, small and medium farmers of the world if they can have access to simple and free technology from any device, including their cell phones,” he explains.
Though Tambero.com is a free service for dairy cattle farmers, it is financially supported by companies and organizations that sponsor the web management system, as well as by cooperatives that subscribe to receive additional premium features. The company offers an advanced version of its software to agricultural cooperatives and dairy companies that provides them with access to comparative reports, application forms, document repositories, and other premium features says the company’s website. For agribusiness customers, the system can recommend products like ration supplements, genetics, animal health products or seeds to the user, says Rodriguez von der Becke .
To generate additional revenue Rodriguez von der Becke says, “in the future there will be additional features for single users with a low fee, without affecting the current free model. Something like a ‘freemium’ service.”
Unlike many technological startups, Tambero.com has not sought or received any venture capital investments, which has posed a slight challenge to the company. “All product development and user growth was made through innovation and the exclusive dedication of the founders, in a rapid cycle of learning what works and adapting the system,” Rodriguez von der Becke explains. “When you do not have hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend in the beginning of your startup, you have to become involved in something really efficient to survive.”
Another challenge Tambero.com faces is bringing the level of growth it has enjoyed in Spanish-speaking countries to the rest of the world. “We have to work on adapting the international version to different markets, especially the availability of other languages and dialects,” Rodriguez von der Becke says. “We also want to increase our brand presence outside of the Internet. Today we have a very high level of conversion on visitors who discover our system, but most of them arrived from word of mouth and search engines.”
Even with these challenges, Rodriguez von der Becke says that Tambero.com is on the right track, based on the increase in users every week. “A few days ago we achieved users in 90 countries, and Tambero.com is growing at a steady, exponential rate,” he says. “We hope to open up and start a first round of capital investment soon.”
In addition, Rodriguez von der Becke hopes that Tambero.com will gain more momentum in the future and gain a larger international user base. “We want to become a standard with users in 150 countries and offer the system in at least 10 languages, including a lot of new features oriented to agriculture and livestock management,” he explains.