Web & Mob Development

On-line mobile and web car auction

Client

SmartLane was a B2B startup for car dealers selling used cars across the USA via the marketplace. It had a whole range of functions to support the workflows of car dealers and inspectors, the auctions workflow, live and proxy bidding, post-auction counter offering, and deal closing.

The product was geared toward both web and mobile users. It provided an exclusive inspector app to speed up inspections and integrated with different APIs to gather information about vehicles, helping dealers make the right decisions at auctions.

Industry: Automotive
Location: USA

Challenge

Implex began working with SmartLane at the startup's early stage. Though the client was experienced in running startups, this time, they were on a tight budget and had only 4 months to launch an MVP.

In the beginning, we only had clickable wireframes. Our task was to create a 'skeleton' of the solution while the designer was putting the finishing touches. Then, we had to launch a neatly designed MVP with a dedicated environment for demonstrating the product. The later phase required us to fully develop the product and prepare it for the next funding round.

Solution

Phase 1

The scope of work included full architecture engineering. Our team started by implementing the core architecture that was later successfully used during the entire development process without significant changes. Other tasks covered design and back-end, front-end, and mobile development for a series of modules.

In the first stage, we coded a demo platform with the back-end and the admin panel offered to the first customers and angel investors. The mobile app for auto dealers was coded and released to AppStore, too. At the same time, our front-end engineers developed the Web UI for entering car inspection data. We also developed an emulation module with a sophisticated logic and human-like behavior to enable proxy bidding. The platform relies on fault-tolerant stateless back-end architecture that allows scaling the bidding logic and implements immediate bidding using web sockets.
Phase 2

At the second stage, our engineers developed a mobile app for SmartLane inspectors coming to review cars and provide their feedback on 50+ parameters. Dealers now had access to a full-service Web UI.

The platform supports a full range of features:
  • integration with on-board diagnostic (OBD)
  • special workflow for sellers to input the info about their cars to SmartLane and for the admin to review and proceed with it
  • counter offers functionality for the vehicles no one bought at an auction
  • saved searches and user notifications
  • making-a-deal flow after an auction end

The platform integrates with a number of APIs, including VIN API and Carfax, vehicle history report database, as well as with the bar code reader.

    The following tools and technologies were used:

    C# ASP .Net back-end
    AngularJS front-end
    MongoDB replica set
    SWIFT mobile iOS
    Kotlin mobile Android

    Results

    It was critical for our client to demonstrate a fully functional MVP on time to get the next round of financing. We did our best to make that happen. We also delivered a full set of technical documentation required for Series A investing.

    In the end, the new functions and workflows in the mobile and web apps greatly extended the capabilities of dealers. The automation of the inspection process made it possible to thoroughly inspect a car in 45 minutes, compared to 1-2 hours it took to do this manually. Even more, a brief examination took only 15 minutes.