What was the scope of their involvement?
I had a few advisors, but nobody on my team was a developer. I started meeting with the founder of Systango well before we started working together. Once I felt she really understood my product and agreed to work on it, I left everything to her. They were our technology partner for 2 years.
First, Systango created a prototype. When we got funding because of that prototype, they expanded it on a month-by-month basis. They put down biweekly sprint plans, so every Monday we’d have a set of objectives and defined tasks for each developer. By the end of the 2 weeks and the end of the sprint, we’d have a retrospective meeting to assess what we’d accomplished. They kept me involved, which I appreciated. Since I’m not a techie, they were able to educate me a bit. They taught me how to use JIRA and Slack, so it was an interesting learning experience for me.
We had a few big releases every month or so. The project did well, and we got a larger amount of funding. Systango also secured an equity stake in my company because we had established trust.
The app allows anyone to broadcast music in real-time for people across the globe. If you’re listening to a certain artist, people across the world can tune into exactly what you’re streaming. At the same time, the app allows you to broadcast video and your voice. It’s like you can be your own radio host and your stream will go to people across the world. It fully plugs into Spotify and adds a radio element into the existing streaming ecosystem. It’s essentially an add-on to Spotify and similar services.
We created the prototype for both iOS and Android. I did the design, and Systango handled the backend. Once we did the full build, I wanted some better designs, so I asked them to take over the design as well as the development. We’re actually going back into a large phase of development. We did a lot of beta-testing, and we took down the app for a short time as we did some research. We’re going to redeploy it after refinements.
Systango offered helpful suggestions. Through the app, I want to foster regular use. Their insights on gamification specifically really helped me, and they pointed me to some great books. Systango went the extra mile to help me learn through the process. That really set them apart from our other providers.
How did you come to work with Systango?
For this project specifically, I put a job posting on Upwork, and somebody reached out to me from their team. Then, because I lived in London, the founder offered to advise me as a startup owner. She recognized that I was young, and even though I didn’t have much money to put into it, she wanted to help. By the time the idea got traction, we already had an established relationship.
How much have you invested with Systango?
I spent around $180,000–$200,000. The price, from what I understand, is not very expensive.
What is the status of this engagement?
We began working together around January of 2015, and our collaboration is ongoing. We took a break to raise more money. Now that we have, we’re starting another round of development. We got a lot of feedback when we had the app in stores before, which we’ll incorporate in the next phase.