Thanks to a Miami-based high-tech company, shopping for a new car isn't just about a test drive anymore. At Audi dealerships in Mexico, sales representatives greet visitors with an iPad running an application made by a company called Leapfactor. The app shows an entire range of models, trims and options, and narrows down alternatives so that potential buyers can choose a price range and watch videos describing their car of interest. While customers still look at real cars and take them for a spin, the Leapfactor app—called Salesfactor—makes it easy for staff to answer questions and gives customers the chance to look at a variety of models and price alternatives while "building" the car they want on a vivid color screen.
Salesfactor is one of about 50 cloud-based apps developed and sold by Leapfactor, a rapidly expanding business founded by a group of Latino entrepreneurs in 2009. The company—whose name is derived from Light Enterprise Access Point—was set up by Lionel Carrasco, the firm's Bolivian-born CEO, and five co-founders from Latin America with the goal of providing secure, attractive and easy-to-use business apps for any modern mobile device. Carrasco saw the ease with which people could access apps on their iPhones and asked himself why businesses couldn't do the same thing.
"We saw an opportunity," says Carrasco, who earned degrees in history and computer science and has worked for more than 25 years in the IT industry as an executive and consultant. "We develop ready-to-use apps that address many of the basic needs of employees, business partners and customers and can interface with virtually any back-end [computer] system," he adds. "Leapfactor can offer business, employees and partners the opportunity to work anywhere, anytime."