A team of mobile app engineers and designers such as Rent the Runway, ClassPass, Kickstarter and others are now launching their own startup, way, To address common pain points experienced around the mobile application release cycle. Along the runway, teams can connect their existing tools to keep track of the progress of the app’s release, automate many manual steps along the way, and improve communication between everyone involved.
“Mobile app releases are an exercise to raise cats, we often say. The co-founder of Runway explains that there are a lot of moving pieces and a lot of pieces Gabriel Savit, Who met his fellow co-founders – Isabel Barrera, David filter, And Matt Varghese – When they all worked together as the first mobile app team on the rental runway.
“The result is that overhead is a lot in terms of time lapse and wastage, there’s a lot of back and forth on the slack to make sure ships are ready,” he says.
Typically, interdisciplinary teams involving engineers, product, marketing, design, QA and more will keep each other updated on the progress of the app using things like spreadsheets and other shared documents in addition to Slack.
Meanwhile, actual work is being managed with a variety of tools to prepare for release, such as GitHub, JIRA, Trello, Bitrise, CircleCI and others.
way All of the team’s tools are designed to serve as an integration layer. Using a simple OAuth authentication flow, the team combines whatever tools they use with the runway, then configure some settings that allow the runway to understand their unique workflow – such as what their branch strategy is Is, how they create a release branch, how they release releases and so on.
In other words, teams train runways to understand how they operate – they do not need to change their processes or behavior to accommodate the runway.
Once set, the runway reads information from various integration points, interprets it and takes action. Everyone on the team is able to enter the runway through their web interface and see where they are in the release cycle and what to do still.
“We are creating this glue, this connective tissue between all the growing pieces and tools, and creating a true source of truth that everyone can refer to and sink or gather around. “It really facilitates people to collaborate and improve their level of being on the same page,” says Savit.
As work continues, the runway helps identify problems, such as missing JIRA tags. It then automatically backfills those tags. It can also help prevent other mistakes, such as when the wrong build is being selected to render.
Another automation involves slack communication. Because the runway understands who is responsible for what, it can direct sluggish notifications and updates to specific members of the team. This reduces the noise in the slack channel and ensures that everyone knows what they are up to.
Currently, the runway focuses on all parts of the mobile app release cycle, from kickoff to actual app store release. On its near-term roadmap, it plans to expand its integration to include connections to such things as bug reporting and beta testing platforms. For a long time, the company has been looking to expand its workflow to include launching apps on other platforms such as desktops.
The startup is currently in pilot testing with some early customers, including ClassPass, Kickstarter, Capsule and a few others. These customers, although not all are yet to be paid customers, have already used the system in production for more than 40 app release cycles.
Startup prices will start at $ 400 per app per month, which allows for unlimited release managers and unlimited apps, access to all integrations, and other things including iOS and Android support. Custom pricing will be offered to those who want higher levels of customer support and consulting services.
The startup does not have an exact ETA when it will launch publicly because it is working to onboard each customer and work closely with them to now have their specific integration needs. Today, Runway supports integration with the App Store, Google Play, GitHub, JIRA, Slack, Circle, fastlane, GitLab, Bitrise, Linear, Jenkins and others, but customers can add more integration than they need.
The four-runway team is mostly New York-based and is currently participating in Y Combinator’s Winter 2021 virtual event. The company has not yet raised a seed round.