Maro is an education tech platform with a mission of equipping parents and teachers to better implement mental health, wellness, and sex education.
Maro's founder and CEO, Kenzie Butera, started the company back in college as a class project. Through her research in the ed tech space, she realized that there was a huge gap missing in platforms that help streamline mental health and sex education. A huge mental health advocate herself, she then set out for the next two years to perform market research on whether such an education tech platform was viable in the market.
In 2019, she met and brought on a Chief Product Officer, Lilly, as a co-founder and started to build out the full design/prototype for Maro. By the beginning of 2020, Kenzie and Lilly were ready to have the designs implemented by a development team. This was when Kenzie reach out to Aloa for a potential collaboration and partnership.
Four months after the development kicked off for Maro, their iOS product (Maro) was fully finished and ready for launch in the App Store. The Maro app is a parent-child platform, and the team plans to launch a future web platform for teachers as well. In 2020, Maro successfully raised a seed round of $500k, and built a strong team of advisors and investors that guided them through their product launch.
Through outsourcing with Aloa, Maro was able to save over $40,000 in the MVP development and $4000 per month in dedicated a development team versus hiring in-house developers or using a domestic software development agency. Through leveraging the Aloa platform, Kenzie and Lilly were able to save a ton of effort in product and project management, allowing them to focus more on Maro's future tech roadmap and fundraising.
As of today, the Aloa - Maro relationship is still ongoing. Chief Product Officer, Lilly, has established a very close relationship with MobCoder and is constantly bringing about new iterations of the Maro app through the Aloa platform.
Maro faced two main challenges throughout the course of development. First was finding the right software development team in the Aloa Partner Network to do the project. The team had to be a good fit for Maro in terms of talent, budget, and timeline. Chief Product Officer, Lilly was a former product manager at GE and has had a terrible experience in the past working with her outsourced software development team. Despite her previous experience, Lilly was still open to using India as a potential outsourcing partner.
Second, Lilly's main focus is on Maro's product roadmap and design. The startup lacked a CTO / Lead Engineer role that was able to create and audit development process. Thus, going into the relationship with the development team, there was no existing workflow, process, or strategy with which the Aloa Partner could follow in order to make the software development experience smooth, seamless, and efficient.
After conducting a thorough search and creating multiple bids, Maro's Aloa Strategist was able to match them with an Aloa Partner based in Delhi, India called MobCoder. MobCoder was able to provide Maro a full-time iOS resource and a full-time Node.js developer. The cost of development also included a dedicated senior project manager and QA analyst to manage the developer and do quality assurance on the work done.
Before the project kickoff, the Aloa Strategist had a meeting with Kenzie and Lilly to create a custom development strategy and process for MobCoder to follow. The Strategist also laid out a standardized work flow leveraging 3 main tools (Aloa Manage, Slack, and Zoom) to make Lilly's software outsourcing experience as smooth and painless as possible. The development process and workflow allowed for MobCoder to successfully integrate with Maro's in-house product and design team.
Moreover, the Aloa technical team conducted bi-monthly development process audits on the project as it was in progress. The audits gave technical feedback to the MobCoder team with regards to how well they were following the development strategies and process laid out by the Aloa Strategist at the beginning of the project. The result of this almost completely eliminated all project fires because it allowed the team to be proactive rather than reactive.
Running a business is hard,
Software development shouldn't be ✌️