Entrepreneurship | April 22, 2019

Frogtek is bringing Mexico’s one million mom-and-pop shops into the digital age

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, April 18 – One million family-owned tiendas account for 40% of all retail business in Mexico. Revenues have been declining in the face of competition from chain stores and online retailers.

Frogtek’s software, called Tiendatek, helps several thousand tienda owners collect data on sales to help them make better decisions about the types of products they should be selling.

“We’re trying to democratize the data information on the retail sector,” Frogtek’s Montse Mora told ImpactAlpha’s David Bank at the Foro Latinoamericano de Inversión de Impacto, or FLII, in February.

The average shop has boosted revenues by 12% in the year after adopting Tiendatek, rather than losing 5%, the average for the industry as a whole. Frogtek also sells data to consumer goods companies like Unilever and Bimbo, from which tienda owners buy their goods.

Mora wants to see Frogtek become a force for retail market research in an overlooked segment of the sector. She adds, “We can meet Nielsen face to face.”

Frogtek may have been ahead of the market when it launched in 2008. Slow adoption nearly sunk the company before Mora was brought in two years ago to steer a turnaround. She said the company has reached breakeven and is looking to expand as a pan-Latin American company with predictive—rather than reactive—software.

“With technology, the traditional channel is going to shrink,” Mora says. “But we will be able to maintain better shops. The ones that stay will be families that have better businesses.”