UK-based Landbay is a peer-to-peer lending platform for residential buy-to-let mortgages. The company, which was launched all the way back in 2014, is now a megalith within the UK proptech arena. Growing from humble beginnings, Landbay has since gone on to lend over £100 million, whilst also winning the MI Award for the best Buy-to-Let Lender of the Year in 2018.
However, this level of success that was not always the case. When they started off, the market was a crowded one, yet it was ripe for disruption. Naturally, for any company looking to disrupt markets, there were plenty of risks at play. It was at this moment in time that Landbay turned to Innovify to help them grow and build their business.
So, what were the initial challenges?
With no experience of building MVPs or having an internal tech team, Landbay lacked the technical experience to deliver the project themselves. Therefore, Innovify stepped in to provide this. The next round of funding heavily relied on the MVP, so it had to be built correctly and to a high spec. Not only that, but in a crowded market and with a view to disrupt the property market, it had to seriously convince investors that this was a viable product, worthy of investment.
Once funding was secured, there had to be a clear plan in terms of scaling their product and team. Again, with little experience of doing this, they needed a reliable partner to provide this. Innovify was there to step in and apply their experience and industry knowledge to do just that.
Lastly, unexpected opportunities can come knocking at your door, and this can sometimes happen when you are already working at full capacity. This was exactly the case with Landbay. The company had a unique opportunity to launch the first Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) facility in the UK. However, they were already at full capacity on their existing projects for that year and only had a month to launch the IFISA to its lenders.
Outsourcing the project or cutting the corners wasn’t a viable option. Therefore, this left Landbay with only one option — to turn to Innovify as its founding partner for product development.
Only a solid, effective MVP would secure funding
As mentioned, Landbay had no experience of building MVPs or having an internal tech team. Therefore, they enlisted Innovify to provide their industry experience and technical knowledge to deliver the project. Due to a tight timeframe to secure funding, Innovify had to demonstrate their ability to deal with a very short learning curve in terms of the client’s requirements. This meant for a very close, collaborative working relationship and this was only achieved through complete project transparency from the very beginning. This cemented trust and clarity between Innovify and the client and in turn, this ultimately helped provide a high-quality MVP in an efficient timeframe.
Proven experience in scaling teams reassured Landbay and propelled them further
After the success of securing the funding for the MVP, the real work began – building the entire digital product.
Once funding was secured, there had to be a clear plan in terms of scaling their product and team. Again, with little experience of doing this, they needed a reliable partner to provide this. Innovify was there to step in and apply their experience and industry knowledge to do just that. Relying on their lean and agile principles, Innovify were able to build and scale Landbay’s team effectively and to the client specifications. The success was underpinned by their extensive use scrum practices.
Any shortcoming in the delivery process would have delayed the launch of Landbay’s new standalone project. The first point of call was to assemble the team of technology experts and then sure that they reported directly into Jays Shortt, Head of Products and David, Head of Technology at Landbay.
Second on the list was to set clear targets. Functioning as an emergency scrum team, Innovify drew up realistic timeframes for the whole project. Moreover, the high-level architecture was defined, and all dependencies were accounted for.
Innovify then proceeded to co-ordinate with the third-party vendor on daily basis, clearly specifying the daily output needed as per the FCA’s guidelines. Any impediments with this was identified and steps were taken to resolve any issues.
Lastly, the work was delivered on a continuous basis. This included daily demos, defects triaging and prioritising in the sprints.
The initial results saw Landbay secure significant funding directly from the MVP that we built for them, right at the very beginning of our working relationship. Due to the success of the MVP, we continued our successful relationship and moved onto the next stage for Landbay, scaling their product and internal team. This was carried out in clear adherence of the client specification, culminating in Landbay being provided with a well-balanced internal team and a fully functioning digital product. This product was built straight from the successful foundations of our MVP. As we knew client from the very start, building their initial product, we were well placed to deliver the final product.
Lastly, Innovify’s extreme planning expertise along with timely co-ordination, provided Landbay with an updated platform which was developed on time and beyond the expected specs.
The project was a noteworthy example of implementation of extreme programming (XP) and lean principles. This, in turn, ensured the highest level of output, but at an accelerated pace of delivery.
Furthermore, the project as a whole, clearly demonstrated the level of trust, communication, and strong client relations required to make any agile project a true success.