AWS Startups Blog

Descomplica: why a social good startup migrated to AWS

by Andrea Li | on | in Startup Migration |


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.