Squirrel soars to new heights with
Mitra Innovation

Squirrel is the ultimate bucket list app, created by former Australian bankers and a travel marketer, that has taken the world by storm. The app enables members – ‘Squirrelers’ – to create, plan and achieve their bucket list goals in life, set budgets against their goals, and have savings targets to achieve those goals. The goals could be to see the Northern Lights, or climb Everest, or go on a hot air balloon ride – anything that someone has always dreamed of doing. Squirrel features a highly intuitive interface, and seamless connectivity with major social platforms such as Facebook and Pinterest.

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The app was first developed and launched as a minimum viable product (MVP) in Australia in 2016, and soon gained a loyal following with active users in more than 60 countries, particularly in North America, China, UK and Australia. It was only available for download on iOS devices however, which left millions of eager android users unable to access the app.

Squirrel founder, Mandy Andrews, said: “We ran a couple of Facebook campaigns that went viral and the overwhelming device that we saw being used by our target customers was Android. So, we prioritised an Android version of Squirrel on our development roadmap.”

Mitra Innovation, a UK/Sri Lankan/Australian based company who are experts in – developing and improving new and existing technologies, and platforms – stepped in to help.

The Squirrel team spoke to Mitra Innovation about the initial build and launch of the app, and the challenges they were facing. Andrews said: “We had cut a lot of corners getting the MVP to market in terms of the app’s backend. But then we were faced with the big question: ‘Do we build a native Android version and have an ongoing issue with supporting two code bases, or do we re-platform the application so that it could also serve the bucket list needs of Android users too?’”

Mitra Innovation knew they could help and were excited to begin work on the Squirrel app. Using ‘ReactNative’ (a JavaScript framework for building user interfaces), an agile approach to delivery, and strictly following ‘Acceptance Test Driven Development’ and ‘Zero Dev to QA Defect Leakages’ the development team made fast progress. In under three months they presented the Squirrel team with a new Android version of Squirrel. Soon after, the development team also did a quick follow up release which brought the Android version up to (and ahead of) the iOS version’s functionalities.

The team behind Squirrel are now able to deliver a highly secure, scalable and feature-expansion ready app for their growing global user base.

Andrews commented: “We are thrilled to be able to expand the user base of Squirrel and be able to offer a seamless experience for both Android and Apple users. It is very exciting!”

Andrews also stated: “Over the course of the development we were constantly blown away by the dedication of the Mitra Innovation team and the way they took ownership of Squirrel, like it was their own baby. Mitra Innovation’s agile project management disciplines were outstanding and the can-do, enthusiastic culture of the team was fantastic.”

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Squirrel founder, Mandy Andrews, looking at the Squirrel app with Dammika Ganegama, Mitra Innovation Managing Director.

Dammika Ganegama, Managing Director at Mitra Innovation thinks the Squirrel partnership has been new and exciting. He said: “A lot of the projects we get involved in are with big, global companies and governments. Working with an innovative, bootstrapped business means we have to work harder than ever to deliver smart, cost efficient, quality results.”

Since Squirrel launched the Android version of the app growth has taken off. Said Andrews, “In the first five months we’ve seen our customer base increase 250% and we haven’t even started promoting yet. We know android would be popular but not even we were expecting that type of growth.” You could say that the founders behind the company had one of their own goals: to create an amazing new service on the Internet and mobile devices. They can now tick this off on their own bucket lists!

Find Squirrel on the app store. You can also download it from their website: http://www.squirrelapp.com.au

Also published on Daily Mirror, The Sunday Leader and The Island