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case

Gofrendly

A digital space to connect with like-minded women.
  • Industry: Social Networking, Lifestyle
  • Service Line iOS, Android
  • period of collaboration 2017 - present
  • site gofrendly.com

The Challenge:

The idea of Gofrendly was born during a lunch in the fall of 2015 when two driven entrepreneurs, Claudia and Ulrika, met for the first time. They sensed the need for a digital safe space for women, so they decided to create one.

The iOS app that was initially launched in 2016 was developed by another vendor. The number of users reached 7K in 6 months, but GoFrendly was encountering scalability and communication issues. The development team couldn’t keep up with the active growth while also maintaining the level of quality that users had come to expect.

In 2017, GoFrendly decided to change development partners and came to Olearis.

Together we went through many stages as the product grew from a small startup to one of the largest social networks in Sweden. It wasn't always smooth sailing, but we managed to stay flexible and adjust our processes to the ever-changing environment.

Product stages:

  • 2017

    The Android app is released. Group chat feature is introduced.

    The initial chat library Cometchat was hardly scalable and didn’t support many features for realtime Group chat implementation. The team decided to move to the Firebase realtime database, successfully migrating all the chats and messages history.

  • 2018

    Sustainable growth, GoFrendly activities and lots of other cool features.

    A new feature called “Activities” is released. GoFrendly users can plan fun offline activities together, from morning coffee to skiing trips in the Alps

  • 2020

    A big round of investment, a full app redesign, and refactoring.

    Gofrendly continues to grow. New users, DAU and other indicators rise, attracting the interest of large Swedish investment companies. After due diligence and following the merging process, Gofrendly got investments for a new fresh look for the app and for moving to more scalable technologies. The backend was rewritten from PHP to Python, realtime chats moved to websockets along with many more technical improvements.

  • 2021

    Premium subscription added

    Gofrendly decided to ask users if they wished to support it by becoming Premium members. Users’ responses were very eager. In less than a year the amount of Premium users exploded!

Solution

Solution

  • Implemented an Android application from scratch

    The initial Android Application was designed and developed by our team by simply looking at the iOS sources (a request we receive all the time)

  • Implemented Firebase Chats

    The app’s chat feature didn't provide enough stability and scalability. At that point we needed to provide a quick, cheap, and flexible replacement. Because we had had success using Firebase in the past, we went this route again and fully recreated the chat functionality.

  • Migrated the iOS codebase from Objective C to Swift

    We're not big fans of refactoring that can take weeks or months and results in more problems than before. That’s why we constantly change and improve the codebase with each release when a particular feature is implemented. A good example of this is the iOS version of GoFrendly. When we received the project, it was written in Objective C and used an outdated MVP pattern. And now it's a fully Swift-based MVVM with Combine under the hood.

  • Constantly improved and updated domain logic

    As any successful startup, GoFrendly experienced many changes in the application logic that required the codebase to remain flexible yet stable. The Olearis team managed to fulfill this requirement.

Result

GoFrendly has become the largest Nordic social app for women.

We now have well-defined processes and a stable codebase. GoFrendly is expanding its user base and reach at full throttle!

Technologies

  • iOS:Swift
  • Android:Kotlin
  • Integrations:websockets, branch.io, Mixpanel and many more
  • CI/CD:Gitlab