What was the scope of their involvement?
They are the only development firm that’s worked on this project, and it has grown in scope since we began working with them.
Initially, their task was to build a full-solution backend for the platform admin side, so we could update it on the frontend. There were two sides to the platform. One side is for users to sign up, update their information, and create a professional profile, like on LinkedIn. The other side was a production house where companies could find people, book them, and make payments.
As we did user testing and got feedback, we decided to incorporate a mobile app, which they’re working on now. They’re also developing APIs for the web-based platform to communicate with the mobile app. They’ve always done the full development sphere: from actual frontend coding through to the backend and database management.
The general features are messaging, bulk notifications, uploading credit card information, and integration to payment gateways. Users can withdraw funds to a bank account or via PayPal. We also have a chat feature for companies to communicate with users, cloud file storage for them to share files, as well as task lists and calendars. There are built-in notifications for booking requests, much like AirBnB.
We built in point systems for our search algorithm, with different weightings for events and various adjustments to people’s visibility. Users can refer friends and teams, as well as earn referrals. We included portfolio builders for users to upload images and videos, tag them, and be globally searchable. We also included searchable reviews of both users and production companies.
Our built-in invoice generation is linked with QR code scanning. There’s group chats as well. They did integrations with our Google Analytics, Mixpanel, Hotjar, Elastic, and Google Vision. They’re also doing our Twilio integration for SMS.
What is the team dynamic?
I work with 2 people, Sam and Akash. Akash is the project manager for the web platform and the mobile app. Sam is the CEO, and I speak to him about the development of platform. I don’t know the exact size of the team building it out.
How did you come to work with Owebest Technologies?
We found them on Freelancer. We started with a very small project that we ended up not pursuing for internal reasons, but I began a relationship with Sam. We followed up with them when we were ready to begin this project.
We worked with 2 freelance developers in Cape Town initially, but they couldn’t handle the scope of the project. We looked at other contacts in South Africa, but their cost was ridiculous, and they wanted to cut a lot of our features. We were also in contact with an American company.
We chose Owebest because their proposal, in terms of timeline and web development process, was very good. They understood the scope of the project, and I had good communication with Sam. We needed to move pretty fast on the project.
How much have you invested with them?
We’ve spent $24,000 so far. The total project size is $40,000.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started conversations in October, but we didn’t move into production until November a year ago. We haven’t launched the website, and we’re still doing iterations in response to user feedback and testing. We’re now on our final web-based milestone, and we’ve almost finished design for the mobile app. We put a hold on the app until the website was 100% complete.