A mobile future for startups and leading brands.

Futurist Labs is a mobile and web IT development partner. We have a select number of clients that we build a long term relationship with. As futurists we love working on projects that push the envelope of technology and amaze people about the world they live in. We offer start-up as a service, project based relationships, digital consulting, and teams of dedicated developers.

Every business has a beginning, and ours started with a love of mobile development. Mobile devices are the digital Swiss army knife of our time. The tools, businesses and innovation created from them make life quite magical. We love bringing a project from zero to MVP.

 
$10,000+
 
$25 - $49 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2014
Show all +
Sofia, Bulgaria
headquarters
  • Futurist Labs Sofia 1797
    Bulgaria
    +359 876606513

Portfolio

Key clients: 

L'Oreal, Founder Institute, HireSkout, RunBuk, PopBoardz, Inko, ScoutingZone and other start-ups.

Tabex: Ex-smoker

Gamification app for quitting smoking pharmaceutical.

PopBoardz

Non linear visual presentation tool.

RunBuk

Marathon participation app with travel agency services.

Mentalist Escape Room

Escape room tablet companion. Use the app while in the room to get hints and chat with the game master.

L'Oreal Smart Sun

Sun exposure app that photographs the users skin and give recommendations.

Inko

Bringing tattoo lovers and tattoo artists together. Helps artists get business and clients find the artist they want.

HireSkout

HR recruitment platform that uses personality triggers to assess potential hires.

getti

Loyalty program in shopping malls

L'Oreal Anti-age Booster

Location based UV protection recommendations from l'Oreal Paris.

ScoutingZone

California based startup for university scouts to find high school soccer talent.

Reviews

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Dev Development for Presentation Platform

"I can ask them to play with certain tasks, and give them the freedom to make mistakes."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
May 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Using a combination of Lambda, EC2, and Amazon Web Services, Futurist Labs built a system that could migrate complex presentation data onto a web page via the cloud. 

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Los Angeles, California
Peter Stougaard
CEO, PopBoardz
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Many of the core functionalities developed by Futurist Labs became integral parts of the software and built a dedicated, dependable user base. The agency clearly explained tasks, brainstormed potential issues, and suggested innovative solutions. Their affordable pricing also enabled flexibility. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the CEO of Popboardz, a non-linear presentation system, unlike PowerPoint, Keynote or other options. I’ve never been in a linear meeting in my life, so I don’t like those systems. My app allows users to put content in various tiles, and access them instantly, the moment they’re needed during the conversation. We’re the perfect wing man for any discussion. We’ve been featured three times in the Apple App Store banner, and have a couple of thousand downloads. We have actively pushed ourselves to the next level.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Futurist Labs?

My lead programmer had to take on other things, so I needed to staff up and meet the needs of the platform. Beyond being a website or a simple application, Popboardz is a cross-platform solution running on Mac OS, iOS and the web. What is simple on the frontend is deceptively complex on the backend, so we’ve needed a lot of work.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Futurist Labs has worked on our platform. The online aspect of the solution is new to us. We are working with Amazon Web Services, Lambda, and EC2. Whatever is created on the native apps—be they iOS or Mac OS—needs to not only be stored on our cloud, but have website version of the presentation created, as it’s being uploaded. Our clients love this, since it means they can share complicated boards with clients instantly, without requiring our software; they can provide a URL on which the content will behave just like it does on the native apps, only in a read-only format. This sounds simple, but it requires tearing each board apart and making it web-friendly.

What is the team dynamic?

We have four dedicated developers and a CTO from their side. I’ve worked directly with Mark Rogers, their CEO. We’ve used Trello quite a bit, since it had been in place with the single developer who preceded their team. We have considered using JIRA as well, but it was too complex for our needs.

How did you come to work with Futurist Labs?

I met Mark Rogers back when we were both working for 20th Century Fox. He ended up moving to Bulgaria and starting a company, which was a perfect fit. I’ve told people that he speaks English and “Hollywood”, which works for me.

How much have you invested with them?

The cost of their work has been around $100,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Futurist Labs in May 2015, and have an ongoing relationship. During the last 6 months, 50% of their team’s time has been dedicated to our product.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We’ve been working together for almost a year, and Mark’s team has been excellent. All the services we’ve developed with them have been for the subscription-based version of the platform. The product has been free up to this point, and we’ve been trying to build a user base.

Having over 200,000 downloads worldwide is fantastic, but we’re really making sure that the 100 people we’ve been working with directly love the product so that they can become sales ambassadors for us. It’s hard to provide exact metrics since we’ve gone underground while developing the subscription product version. The development we’ve done differentiates us from the free service, so we won’t have the typical freemium problem of users not seeing the need to go pro. We’ve drawn a clear line of demarcation, have learned what our users want, and have developed to that. Users have been using the pro features that Futurist helped to develop, and they can’t live without them.

How did Futurist Labs perform from a project management standpoint?

Development is a matter of “fix one thing, break two”, but this is true for anyone. We have a fluid process and are direct with each other. With them being in Bulgaria and us being in Los Angeles, we have a small window for daily communication. I often speak to them early in the morning.

The communication has been great, and I’ve appreciated their ability to provide answers and explain why something can turn into a challenge. Futurist Labs isn’t simply taking my to-do list and running it without any questioning.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They’re the first team of people I’ve worked with, and I’d only used single developers in the past. The dynamic I like about having a team has to do with group-think. They’re all sitting around in a room in Bulgaria, and can talk to each other about different problems. The cumulative experience and freedom to speak back-and-forth directly gives me an exponential level of thinking.

Getting senior people for a reasonable fee has allowed me to experiment, which is what I really like. Some places require us to be specific about what we’re trying to get done. With Futurist Labs having such a great value, I can ask them to play with certain tasks, and give them the freedom to make mistakes. This is hard to find in the world of development.

Are there any areas they could improve?

They have lots of clients, which I’m sure they’re trying to pare down into a handful of great clients. Futurist Labs can be stretched at times because of the number of ongoing projects, but I can understand how a company like this needs to work. They could bring in more people, but that wouldn’t necessarily equate to getting more stuff done. It’s a matter of casting the right people for the right things, and Mark has been cognizant of this, pulling in the right resources, rather than trying to put a square peg into a round hole.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    We try to make the deadlines we can and discuss things, but challenging items can push things at times.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    The multiple I would have to pay in order to do the work in Los Angeles makes Futurist Labs a great value.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I am reluctant to do it, since it takes resources away from me, but I have referred them a couple of times.

Web and App Updates for Customer Loyalty Firm

"[They] took the time to understand what [we were] all about."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Feb. - Dec. 2016
Project summary: 

Futurist updated an extant website and suite of apps to accommodate expansion into new markets, incorporating existing data and building in support for several new languages.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Sofia, Bulgaria
Nick Saunders
CEO/Founder, Getlokal
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

A desire to learn more about the customer and the quality of deliverables stand out. Like most evolving teams (especially offshored one), there are occasional delays, but over the long term, the high value-for-money ratio is likely to outweigh most hiccups.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your company and your position there.

I was the CEO/Founder of Getlokal, a platform providing loyalty services to businesses and consumers. I was part of Start-Up Chile and helped develop and launch Getlokal in Latin American markets.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

For what reason(s) did your company hire Futurist Labs?

Originally, Getlokal was a review site/app and we pivoted into loyalty. I needed to convert their existing mobile apps and build a new website for Chile that was based on existing databases.

What were your goals for this project?

We needed to launch successfully in Chile and begin consumer and business acquisition as soon as possible.

SOLUTION

How did you select this vendor?

I wanted a developer who could handle both the website and mobile apps seamlessly. I received proposals from several local vendors here in Sofia and selected Futurist Labs based on their expertise and past experience.

Describe the project in detail.

We had an extensive initial project briefing that covered the history of Getlokal, the existing infrastructure (i.e., a site and apps in five languages, databases, etc.), and what I wanted to achieve in the time available.

What was the team composition?

The project manager was my direct point of contact, managed the individual developers, and did some of the coding work.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Can you share any outcomes from the project that demonstrate progress or success?

They built a new website, complete with access to existing data, within a couple of months. They updated and converted the apps to match our new focus, then launched them—all within three months. We were then able to start consumer and business acquisition immediately.

How effective was the workflow between your team and theirs?

It went very well—especially given the time difference between us and the fact that I was working on my own in Chile with no one in Sofia to act for me and liaise in person with Futurist Labs. As a result, once I left for Chile, all future interactions were via phone calls and email.

What did you find most impressive about this company?

I was pleasantly surprised by the level of understanding and input from the project manager. He took the time to understand what Getlokal was all about from a commercial perspective and made many constructive suggestions leading to improvements in the apps.

Are there any areas for improvement?

If they had double the number of coders, we could have slightly reduced the time taken to deliver the initial work and manage the ongoing project. In hindsight, I could've provided a better initial specification since we lost a bit of time scoping the project, which also was not helped by the fact that I engaged them only a week before I left for Chile.

4.0
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They offered the best value of all the dev agencies I contacted.
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer