This post is part of our Future of Agriculture series which interviews the leading founders and executives who are on the front lines of the industry to get a better understanding of what problems the industry is facing, what trends are taking place, and what the future looks like.
The following is an interview we recently had with Dmitriy Rokhfeld, CEO and co-founder of Machinio.
1. What’s the history of Machinio? Where and how did you begin?
DR: Co-founder Dan Pinto, 29, and I, Dmitriy Rokhfeld, 30, grew up together in Miami and created small businesses from a young age. In high school, we started a message board for movies and TV shows, which we sold for $10,000 before heading to college (Dan Pinto went to Northwestern and I went to Duke). After graduation, we worked on websites for different companies. Dan came up with the idea for Machinio after trying to help a friend find an used printing press online, a 45-minute search that ended in frustration, and led him into building technology to crawl the web, aggregate listings and find what he needed.
2. What specific problem does Machinio solve? How do you solve it?
DR: Machinio solves one of the biggest pain points that buyers and sellers experience every single day: how difficult and time consuming it is to find needed equipment (buyers) and how difficult it is to find highly interested buyers fast (sellers). Solving this ‘information discovery’ problem is the reason we founded Machinio back in 2012 and it remains the driving force behind our company.
We understood that we could leverage technology in a way that is unheard of in this industry and aggregate millions of listings from thousands of global sellers. These days, not everyone takes the time to pick up the newest magazine or check out the latest newspaper, as some of the people in the industry might think that is still the way to get information out. With the shift moving towards digitalization and online marketplaces, we wanted to combine the quality of the local buyer with a much larger reach, and dealers have embraced technology and what it can do for their businesses. No longer would buyers need to visit dozens or hundreds of different websites to find what they needed, nor would sellers need to be trapped in their geographical limits; buyers could start and finish their entire search and sellers could form fast connections with qualified buyers on Machinio.com.
Currently, there are over 1.2 million active used equipment listings, which translates into having more listings than any other website. We now work with over 2,000 equipment dealers from all over the world, a lot of them leaders in the industry, to list their equipment. With that, over 600,000 interested machinery buyers from 190 countries visit Machinio.com each month looking for used machines and heavy equipment. Using proprietary technology, we connect interested buyers with thousands of global sellers that have the equipment they are looking to purchase. On a monthly basis, we make over 70,000 buyer and seller connections, helping accelerate the sale of the equipment.
3. What’s the future of Agriculture?
DR: Multi-generational agricultural businesses can only continue to operate successfully if they constantly adapt to the needs and changes in the industry. With the rise of the world wide web, buyers have more choices than ever. Whereas in the past they might have gone back to the same dealer they have worked with for years, now many will at least explore what else is out there. For agricultural leaders to continue growing their business into the future and thrive, they will need to stay on the cutting edge of technology. The future of agriculture is a merge between technology and business, and we see that progress on a daily basis.
4. What are the top 3 technological trends you’re seeing in Agriculture?
*predictions are not set in stone, but general observations which are subject to change
Prediction #1: Technology adaption. Technology is leading the base model of almost everything in agriculture these days, from finding the equipment individuals need to operate to how a crop is inserted in the ground and harvested.
Prediction #2: Data. We see Ag leaders becoming more and more interested in understanding and utilizing data to track progress and to determine how they can optimize business performance not only locally, but also globally, and reach more buyers.
Prediction #3: Innovation. Ag leaders who focus on innovation as a core value will find success; internally and externally, efficiency and adaptability will be critical factors in how they succeed. It will be by adopting new methodologies, technologies and partnerships that they will be able to thrive. Machinio is proud to offer those things to Ag equipment dealers looking to sell their equipment.
About Dmitriy Rokhfeld
Dmitriy Rokhfeld is the CEO and co-founder of Machinio.com, the fastest growing global search engine for used machinery. Rokhfeld, a Duke alumni, has a background in consulting, user acquisition and search engine optimization. Now the co-founder and CEO of Machinio.com, he leads a team of millennials disrupting the $400 billion dollar used equipment industry with innovative technology.