Hello Tractor Captures 75% of Nigerian Tractor Market with Kinvey-Powered App
In sub-Saharan Africa, the average farmer plants their crops 30 days late. With as
much as 1.5% of their yield lost for every day late, farmers in the region are often
facing an uphill battle from the moment their crops are planted.
Jehiel Oliver, CEO and founder of Hello Tractor, wanted to change that. Tractors are an
integral part of sub-Saharan agriculture, helping farmers finish jobs in hours instead
of weeks. Unfortunately, tractors are also a very costly resource. To address tractor
availability, Oliver came up with Hello Tractor: an application that matches farmers
looking for tractors with tractor owners looking for work.
The Hello Tractor team was able to quickly push out a web application, but mobile
was the ideal platform for the app. However, as an early stage company, Hello
Tractor didn’t have the resources required to build a mobile app—especially on the
accelerated timeline the company was trying to hit.
The design for the Hello Tractor app was complex, as it had to support a wide range
of tools and technologies to make the necessary connections between farmers and
tractor owners. As a high productivity app development platform, Progress® Kinvey™
provided Hello Tractor with everything the company needed out of the box to not
only build the app as envisioned but also accelerate delivery.
“Kinvey has been completely transformative for us,” Oliver said. “With Kinvey, we were
able to put out an Android application in no time. We didn’t have to worry about the
backend at all, Kinvey allowed us to focus on frontend development without worrying
about the core features.”
The mobile app was rolled out first in Nigeria, but the company has since expanded
to Kenya, Tanzania, Senegal and Mozambique. Each new release required some minor
adjustments and also enabled Hello Tractor to continually update and improve
the application in unique ways—for example, adding new language options.
Using the Kinvey platform, Hello Tractor was able to get its innovative tractor sharing app to market in just 2.5 months. With Hello Tractor, tractor owners have much higher visibility into the location of their tractors and what they’re being used for, offering greatly increased security.
Since first deciding to sell the technology standalone, Hello Tractor has captured 75% of the Nigerian tractor market and has a major foothold in Kenya and Ghana as well. To date, the largest Hello Tractor account is worth over $6 million—without Kinvey, Hello Tractor may not have made it to market on time with the technology to capture this business.
Moving forward, Hello Tractor plans on further enhancing the app with new features. Just recently, the app introduced weather forecasting, which enables farmers to schedule their rentals more effectively and minimize downtime due to inclement conditions.
“If we can get our technology onto as many tractors in sub-Saharan Africa as possible, we can confront food insecurity in that region and improve the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people—and that backend work is now being powered by Kinvey,” Oliver said.