Tiendatek is point-of-sale software application that allows micro-retailers to record all store expenses and revenues directly on a mobile phone or tablet; an external bar code reader connected to the phone via a wireless connection allows them to record transactions at the product level. In exchange micro-retailers gain access to financial reporting, personalized recommendations and additional value-added services. The software applications run on Android smart phones or tablets that have touch screens and synchronize wirelessly with Tiendatek web servers.
Frogtek is the social enterprise behind the product Tiendatek. Frogtek is a for-profit social venture dedicated to creating business tools for micro-entrepreneurs in emerging markets. Frogtek has a team of 25 people that spans Spain, Colombia and Mexico.
David del Ser, Founder and Chairman of Frogtek heard about the basic idea from an Innovation Manager that worked for a large microfinance network. They had done quite a bit of research understanding the business needs of shopkeepers but hadn’t been able to start any tech development. Then David was an MBA student with a prior engineering background with Vodafone’s R&D department. “It came naturally to me the idea that the shopkeepers really needed a smartphone to keep their accounts in a simple manner. That’s how the ball started rolling!” says David on how the business idea came about.
While Frogtek continues to focus on Tiendatek, which now works on a tablet and takes credit card payments, they’re starting to prototype a data mining tool that will make sense of all the shop information that is being collected.
Right now they are concentrating on Mexico while they hone the complete business model. After that they will expand to other Latin American markets given the cultural and geographic proximity. There’s also a small pilot project for an African country that they are working on. “India would be a great country for a later expansion given the huge amount of small kirana shops (estimated at 12 million!) and the young nature of the modern retail chains. But we have not decided on any date yet…” says David on expansion plans to India.
Frogtek has currently implemented the product Tiendatek in over 200 shops in two countries and are gearing for a faster roll-out of the network. They have been included in Kiva.org’s list of non-traditional partners. So the shopkeepers are now getting financing from all over the world. See one example here http://www.kiva.org/lend/458079