What was your goal for working with Toschas Labs?
We wanted an online platform that would allow people to invest as little as $500 or $1,000 into this secure product. The difference between that and a stock market investment is that this pays back a monthly return because it's a debt product. We were allowing our retail investors to get into an underwritten, commercial mortgage transaction. To do that, we partnered with private equity firms that originated and underwrote the mortgages as they're pretty complex.
Please describe the scope of their work.
They contributed to our development for a few months. I had built the original base for it, so when they came in it was a situation where we were kind of three-quarters of the way there, but it needed some additional leverage. They were able to get on an ongoing development process, understand what was going on, and really worked well in terms of specific tasks that we could delegate. They followed our Git-flow, and our management process, and so on.
The scope was really positioned as mid-level to senior-level leverage and support on an ongoing development. I was still coding, as was my co-founder at the time, so we had a few people contributing to the project. There was a little bit of micro-management going on because I was essentially leading the charge and driving the main development.
We needed to make a marketplace for the user, allow them to review corresponding documents, and allow them to invest between $500 and $30,000 online. So, a lot of the main stuff had been built, but we also needed to build a situation where we could offer private discounts on the fees that we take. These discounts would be given to legacy investors who were affiliates of the private equity firm we were partnering with. We used that as a way to encourage them to invest in our product, and we were able to get $2 million during the course of a few months. I delegated this to one of the guys at Toschas Labs, and they could work with it for a few days, and come back with a proposed solution. I would review it, we would discuss, and then it would go into the app.
What technologies were used?
We had some asynchronous tasks, and things like that, but that's just all Ruby libraries that we used, so there wasn't anything else. Assets would be in the cloud and AWS [Amazon Web Service], so the Amazon cloud. Our servers were DigitalOcean, and we were deploying through Cloud 66. So, I was handling the provisioning.