Category: Startup Migration


Descomplica: why a social good startup migrated to AWS


The social good sector focuses on creating a positive impact on an individual or society. Over the last 10 years, we’ve seen a 20% growth in the nonprofit sector alone. It’s not news that the social good sector is growing rapidly.

Lots of startups in this sector are leveraging innovative technology to solve our greatest challenges, but at the same time, they face a lot of unique challenges. These startups often have to manage a large user base that is not necessarily active at all times, but can spike abruptly based on current affairs. Another challenge is managing a magnitude of international volunteers who come-and-go: these users need access to documents with different confidentiality levels, across multiple networks and devices, from varying locations around the world. Accounts may remain dormant for years before a sudden need arises to access extremely sensitive donor information.

Access, permission models, and data storage are just a few of the problems that companies in the social sector face. It takes time to understand the challenges and even longer to solve them. Some common barriers we hear against cloud adoption are high migration costs, suspicion of true data security, and the lack of technical know-how.

The situation is complicated with no one-size-fits-all solution. That’s why AWS is very excited to see a growing number of social good startups trust and pick us to support their technology. In this post, we dive a little deeper into why Descomplica, a Brazilian EdTech startup, decided to migrate to AWS from another cloud platform.

Descomplica is based in Rio de Janeiro. Their mission is to make learning frictionless and easy. Having realized that high school students are tech-savvy, mobile, and constantly online, Descomplica has built out a thorough education platform that gives students content (like study plans and course materials) and different ways to consume the material (like live-stream content and SMS-based study tools). Descomplica raised more than $14M, attracting venture firms like Social Capital and Valor Capital.

Descomplica’s platform is in high demand. Brazil is the third largest market for social networks after the US and India. The company scaled very quickly and now has a library of 15,000+ videos with over 8 million streams every month. Initially, the significant increase in the number of users and amount of content being loaded caused a lot of unexplained crashes, which made the platform increasingly unreliable from a customer standpoint. Apart from complications with user management systems and billing, the lack of documentation and resources also made it difficult for Descomplica’s team to build sustainably for quick growth.

To fix these problems, Descomplica partnered with AWS to migrate all their services to the AWS platform. The migration took only one month. Descomplica was able to automate the entire deployment of their application using their ongoing integration services, and they acquired a new, reliable system of user permissions and access keys. They chose AWS because of our ease-of-use, deployment, and support. They stayed with us because of our reliability.

As we know, every minute and dollar that a social good startup invests in technology is time and money that’s not put towards their cause. We understand this at AWS and therefore partner very closely with all our customers to architect properly, securely and cost-efficiently. Our goal is to take care of the technological front so startups like Descomplica can focus on their true mission: delivering high-quality education to students who can’t afford top educational institutions. And that is why social good startups are moving to AWS.

Startup migration: around the world to AWS

In 2016, we saw startups of all shapes and sizes migrate to Amazon Web Services (AWS). In true Amazon fashion, we dived a little deeper into our data to take a look why. Here are five startups we invited from China, India, Israel, and the US to share 100 words on their migration.

  • AWS knows what market leaders want
    Maybe it’s luck, maybe it’s experience. We’d love to believe that Houzz fell for the latter. Houzz is a US-based platform for home remodeling and design. It’s a place to find the right design and contact the best construction professionals. With a community of 40 million homeowners, home design enthusiasts, and home improvement professionals, Houzz is a leader in their field, who wants to partner with a leader in the cloud. In 2016, Houzz needed additional scale and we had 70 services ready for them to cherry-pick from.Architecting, infrastructure, build… we have their back, and our services are always the most updated (without the delays and the noise).
  • AWS helps startups expand internationally easily
    The AWS footprint is worldwide across 16 geographical regions and 42 Availability Zones. And that’s exactly what Ibibo Group wanted to leverage when they migrated to AWS. Ibibo is India’s largest online travel group with services ranging from hotel booking, to bus ticketing, and to vehicle tracking and car sharing. With over three million unique users transacting every month, Ibibo migrated to AWS to take advantage of our breadth of services as they continue to expand their business internationally.A worldwide travel group like Ibibo needs a universal cloud provider that’s strong and reliable in every region.
  • AWS helps scale the freshest ideas
    For example, China’s largest e-commerce platform that imports fresh fruit products from all around the world. Fruitday took a risk back in 2015 and launched its app to try and grow its traditional fruit retail business. Within a year, they scaled to over 10 million users and grew 100%. Fruitday decided to migrate to AWS last year for our reliability, customer service, and ability to help them optimize their unique supply chain needs seamlessly.We scale when there’s demand and growth – our flexibility is always in-season.
  • AWS saves you money
    Seeking Alpha
    is a platform for investment research that is crowdsourced by investors and industry experts. With four million registered users, seven million unique monthly visitors, and a vast coverage of stocks, asset classes, and ETFs, Seeking Alpha enjoys our pay-per-use scheme to lower costs. Whether it’s a new moderator’s profile or 6,000 daily comments, you use (and pay) for what you need. No long-term contracts or upfront comments. We make sure our startups are operating efficiently and, more importantly, cost-effectively.Trust the finance guy to know: AWS makes sense financially.
  • AWS is easy to use
    The smart folks over at the brain-training company tend to think so. Lumos Labs (you might be more familiar with their product Lumosity) is a US-based company used by 85 million people worldwide. Their 25+ brain games challenge their users’ memory, attention, flexibility, speed of processing, and problem solving. Lumos Labs leveraged some of the innovative services of AWS like Amazon Redshift to find the simplest solutions.With all that brain training, no wonder they thought migrating over was a no-brainer.

And there we have it. Five top startups around the world that migrated to AWS to solve very different problems. Technologically, they picked us due to our ease of use, cost-effectiveness, and scalability. Business-wise, they picked us because we understand the needs of global industry leaders.

But regardless of whichever reason above, we know our customers truly love us because we always put them first. AWS continuously strives to serve all of our customers by pushing the envelope to innovate on their behalf. When you have a need, we strive to provide a service that meets that need for you. And that’s why we’re excited to walk alongside you, through your journey in the clouds.