Case Study

Lendable

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Lendable provides access to credit for growing African companies, having disbursed more than $30mm USD since inception. As every overhead is a major concern for Lendable, we helped optimize their AWS bill with an eye toward their future growth plans. This is their story.

Our AWS bill is a significant cost line item for us. As the scale of our data grows, we need to make sure we’re scaling our technical systems along with it and that we’re doing it in a cost effective way. Duckbill Group came recommended to us and it seemed like a good opportunity to get some expert advice on the issue. Our tech team is spread between Austin, New York, and Nairobi. Working with Duckbill provided a great opportunity for our tech team from across the world to interact with a wide set of technical expertise.

Duckbill Group gave us recommendations on specific changes that we can make to control our AWS costs, identifying 20-27% in savings. Even before they delivered the final report, they pointed out some low-hanging fruit we could address in the meantime. It helped to have someone external say “Hey, are you actually using X service? It doesn’t look like that’s getting hit, but you are paying for it.” We’ve gone through and turned some of those services off to reduce costs.

The most helpful part was having access to Duckbill Group as experts to answer questions about AWS infrastructure (such as Cloudwatch and Redshift). Things that may or may not help with saving money exactly, but will set us up to build infrastructure that will scale better with respect to cost over time.

Dylan Fried, CTO & Chief Risk Officer

They gave us tips on tools to increase security as well as tools to use for logging and monitoring our infrastructure. They also advised on how to evaluate the options of going with an AWS service versus an external service versus rolling our own solutions, offering tips on what they see other companies doing and how we might think about that. 

Having access to Duckbill Group to ask questions about AWS infrastructure saved us time by helping us avoid running down dead ends. With a small technical team and limited resources to support our data pipeline, anytime that we can save time, that’s the biggest benefit for us because it’s all about opportunity costs. So being able to short-circuit certain ideas on things to implement and say, “Nope, that’s not worth spending any time on,” or “yes, you can do that and here’s how” helps us a lot.

They were very easy to communicate with. We had access to them directly in our Slack to send them quick messages asking questions about our AWS infrastructure. For our calls, they were extremely accommodating of the pretty broad set of times zones we’re spread out across. They took meetings at bizarre times of the morning for them on the West Coast, so we really appreciated their flexibility.

I certainly would recommend that others work with Duckbill Group. They are experts in AWS and there’s no question that they are able to help reduce costs.