What was the scope of their involvement?
Stash is a registered investment advisory app with lots of regulations and government scrutiny, so it needed to be bulletproof. A fintech firm can end up in trouble if it lets the wrong people in the door, even if you do all the right things.
They built and tweaked our first version on iOS, then helped us build our in-house tech team. That was nice because they didn’t see us as a short-term partner. They knew that if they helped us hire our own team, that would help us be successful.
We went back to them when we wanted to build the Android version, which was another big project. It made more sense for the people who built the iOS version to take on this big related project than for us to do it in-house. Over a year later, we hired them again to build banking services. It says a lot that we hired them at least three times.
Then I started WinWin, an iOS savings app, based on the premise that Americans find it very tough to save money. The more you save, the more chances you get to win. I hired them to build the app, and they have done a great job. We wanted to add something fun in a boring space, and they nailed it. Every day, users play a 30-second game to win a small prize between 10¢ and $1. For one moment in their day, they can feel positive about money. Every Friday, we hold a draw. We started with $1,000 and will add smaller prizes. Users get a chance to win for every dollar they save.
Until an app goes live, you don’t know what will work and what won’t. We are currently going through that, so we’ve hired them to stay with us as we record data, call customers, and move toward the product market. For example, we are rolling out four additional games because our users didn’t want to do the same games every day. Games are new for Ad:60. One doesn’t work well, but people loved the others that we built.
They care about building great solutions. It never feels like work for hire; it feels like they are part of the team. We will also hire them to build our Android version.
They also built our dashboards, which was huge. Alex (Partner & CEO, AD:60) thinks about KPIs like a founder. He knows which ones we need to measure and how often we need to measure them, so he built us a dashboard that lets us track our key KPIs.
We completed UI/UX design, some product testing, and production. We also integrated the app with nine different services. They built a very advanced platform for attribution and Linux messaging, which was important to me. I wanted to go big or go home.
What is the team composition?
We usually have a market research team that profiles the customer, the core value profit, and the ideal solution. Our in-house team is strong in that area, but we also respect their process. We did our research and analysis, but did it in parallel since they wanted to do their own as well. I did some of the heavy-lifting to keep prices low.
How did you come to work with AD:60 Agency LLC?
I met Alex through one of their former clients. When I was looking for an agency, they recommended AD:60.
Since there were nine integrations, my two co-founders and I needed a firm with chops. It involved trading, compliance, and many other elements. It would have taken us nine months just to recruit an in-house team to build it. We looked at a lot of different options, but we liked that they were local.
I sensed that they wouldn’t just do what you told them to do: they would challenge you and have strong opinions. They had also built another site that I liked, and they knew a lot about fintech and its marketing. They were expensive, but uniquely qualified for this build.
How much have you invested in them?
We have spent around $400,000 on the WinWin project so far.
What is the status of this engagement?
We began working on the WinWin project in October 2017, and the work is ongoing.