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Case Study

Airblack’s journey from Pivot to Series A

August 29, 2021
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6 min read
Airblack's black and white banner saying 'Empowering entrepreneurs and creators'

Airblack is on a mission to help people convert their passion to a livelihood. They do this by providing them the best knowledge in a way that works, delivered by the top experts. Airblack currently offers specialized courses on becoming a make-up artist with plans to diversify in the near future.

Airblack co-founders Videt Jaiswal and Vaibhav Raj Gupta believe that the next decade will be about internet-first creators and entrepreneurs. Their vision and execution found support from Info Edge and Elevation capital through their recent Series A round in July of 2021.

Covid-19

Airblack in its initial days was focused on travel, this was before covid-19 took the world by storm. As the future prospects of the travel industry seemed uncertain the Airblack founders bit the bullet and decided that a pivot was necessary. This has large implications for any startup and for Airblack it included restructuring their product suite for the new business model.

A meme of Ross shouting a ship to pivot from being stuck in he Suez

Iterate fast, learn fast

Speed is supercritical for a young startup that hasn’t yet reached product-market fit and in Airblack’s case, a pivot made speed was even more crucial. The team needed a POC of their new hypothesis and they needed it fast.

The Airblack team took two decisions to achieve this speed. The first was to build the Android & iOS app on ReactNative instead of native platforms. It is widely acknowledged and accepted that ReactNative provides a much faster speed of development as compared to developing on native platforms.

The second key decision was to hire a developer for a 3-month contract. While the team already had internal engineers who knew ReactNative they needed an additional resource for a short time span to help them ramp up feature development and roll-out of the new product suite to their users.

This is where Default came in, in a time span of less than a week we were able to provide the team with a ReactNative developer of 3+ years of experience.

Successful pivot

The Airblack team was able to successfully launch the new product line and get significant traction from the users not just in terms of MAU but also in terms of revenue. The LinkedIn post by CEO Videt Jaiswal sums it up quite neatly.

Videt Jaiswal's LinkedIn post celebrating Airblack's milestone

Move to native

After the successful pivot, the Airblack team now wanted to re-write the applications to their native platforms, iOS, and Android. Working with aggressive timelines the team decided that getting an Android Native developer from Default would help them roll out a better experience to their user base faster. We were able to provide them with an Android developer within 2 weeks.

Challenges with delivery & Default’s contribution

Over a period of 8–9 months we provided Airblack with developers in three technologies across ReactNative, Android Native, and then finally React (web).

Naturally, every client project that we take up has some unique challenges and so did Airblack for us. In resolving these challenges what helps us most is empathy towards the client and maintaining transparency about the status of our efforts in resolving the challenges.

Leading with these values we worked on ensuring that Airblack got the engineer they needed in the shortest amount of time and with the right setup to work in a remote environment.

Vaibhav, the CTO at Airblack had this to say about our performance:

Default helped us onboard quality developers across technologies — Reaect Native, Android, ReactJS. They were always supportive in resolving the challenges we were facing in shortest time possible. Over time our partnership has really matured in understanding team/project requirements and finding the right resources.

Case Study
Startup
Android
React-Native

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Author's picture who wrote the blog post
Written by
Varun Jain

Varun has 9+ years of experience in tech hiring and recruitment. One of the co-founders of Default, his last startup was acquired by UpGrad.

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