BovControl , a Brazilian startup out to reduce global hunger by helping farmers maximize meat production, its located in a São Paulo skyscraper that also houses the likes of Microsoft and Monsanto.
The five year-old startup is trying to create what founder Danilo Leao calls “the internet of cows.”
Leao started taking care of his family’s farm at age of 15, manually tracking animals with a spreadsheet and ear tags.
Bovcontrol makes that process easier, speeding up meat and dairy production for farmers. The company hopes that the app’s efficiency will help alleviate global hunger.
To use BovControl, farmers need to input a cow’s basic data in an app, including birth date, medication, vaccinations, and weight. If the farmer happens to be offline, the information is saved until they re-enter cell service and the data can be uploaded to the cloud.
Farmers can use any technology they have for logging cow data — from a basic ear tag to a Bluetooth-equipped smart collar that can collect data like temperature and location. Eventually the app takes over, crunching the data and using artificial intelligence to make predictions about the cows.
If a farmer notes that a cow is pregnant, for example, the app can predict the date of birth, providing push notifications as it gets closer. If the app notices that a cow isn’t producing as much milk as it should, it can signal to the farmer that it should consider removing the animal from operation.
The more sophisticated the farmer’s tools, the more powerful BovControl is. If a farmer has a Bluetooth-connected weight scale, for example, the device can sync to the app, making it easy to see when a cow is large enough to be ready for slaughter.
BovControl is used on thousands of farms across the world, but it first launched in Brazil, a country where there are more cows than people.
BovControl’s user base is growing 3% to 5% each week, but the company has encountered roadblocks along the way.
In the US, Leao says he has gotten offers from Harvard and MIT graduates to help out for free. In Brazil, he offers a lot of stock options to sweeten the deal.
In addition to selling to farmers, BovControl just inked a deal with Aliança da Terra, a nonprofit in Latin America that certifies sustainable farms.
The NGO is building its own mobile application on top of BovControl’s platform, allowing dairy corporations to get a better look at the history of the milk products they sell.
Google is also funding the Aliança da Terra platform for 500 ranchers in the Amazon, and one of the largest food retailers in the world, Casino Guichard-Perrachon, is recommending BovControl to its Brazilian beef suppliers.
For more details on how this app works visit www.bovcontrol.com