Francisco Lúcio Silva of E-ctare tells us how its platform brings information and intelligent solutions to benefit the rural people.
Tell us about yourself, your career, and how you founded or joined this company.
Francisco Lúcio Silva: I am a university professor in Computer courses, and I have more than 20 years of experience in technology and innovation.
I worked as a general manager at a large company, and in the meantime, I founded a software company with my partner, Ely Prado.
At that time, we were serving several customers when a childhood friend called us to talk.
He told me he had an idea to make an app to sell coffee online. We believed in the idea and created E-ctare.
As soon as we developed the App, we launched it on the market, and we saw a certain resistance from producers to market coffee in a different way than they are used to.
With that, we changed the business model. We realized that producers needed rural credit faster and less bureaucratic, so we changed our operations, and the result was very promising.
E-ctare became a digital bank for Brazilian agribusiness serving not only coffee producers but any other producer.
We have already had large investment rounds, and today my partner and I are full-time at E-ctare.
We have received several awards, we have appeared on several portals, and we have already helped thousands of producers with our lines of credit.
Do you have small habits that have had a significant impact on your life and business?
Francisco Lúcio Silva: Yes, from a very early age, I learned that we must put effort into making anything happen.
In addition to efforts, we must always be up to date and have a good network.
How does E-ctare market its products/services online?
Francisco Lúcio Silva: One of our solutions is the credit line for coffee, milk, and beef cattle feeders. These lines can be accessed online through the E-ctare application.
In other words, the producer does not need to go to a traditional bank and face queues and bureaucracy to purchase, through our App, he can request and sign all necessary documents online.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to manage your online marketing?
Francisco Lúcio Silva: We use Facebook, Instagram, and Google Ads a lot. And we also hired a company that specializes in developing prospecting campaigns.
This partnership has worked very well, and we are enjoying the feedback.
What is your hiring policy/process, and how do you retain your employees?
Francisco Lúcio Silva: Today, we have an innovation hub where we share with other startups.
For hiring, we define a profile and specify in detail the vacancy to be filled.
Afterward, we conducted several interviews and chose our employee.
We have an innovative space to retain our talents, with a pool table and video game.
In addition, we encourage our employees and study by offering scholarships.
How are you funding your growth?
Francisco Lúcio Silva: Recently, our company went through an investment round.
We received funding of BRL 600 million in investments.
This makes us optimistic and able to scale our solutions.
Who are your competitors? And how do you intend to stay in the game?
Francisco Lúcio Silva: We have some competitors like Terra Magna, Agrolend, and Adeagro, but we know that E-ctare’s technology and business model make the company move forward.
Tell us a customer success story.
Francisco Lúcio Silva: We have several success stories.
The most recent was to bring knowledge, technology, and rural credit to family farmers in Alagoas-Al.
In this project, we teach producers how to work with their land.
In addition, we finance all corn planting.
This all makes us very excited.
Your final thoughts?
Francisco Lúcio Silva: E-ctare benefits and has already benefited several rural producers in Brazil, but we always want to go further! We have important projects for Brazilian agriculture, and we are working towards them.