We had a bad year last year but we overcome all the problems and everything is cool now. Except coronavirus. That’s not cool at all.
Dear Yanado customers and users,
Many of you were asking where the hell are we? What happened to Yanado? Why aren’t we sending updates?
Many of you were angry because of bad communications from our side. Rightfully so.
Frankly speaking, we didn’t know how to communicate what’s happening. We tried, but bad events kept coming.
So, what happened?
Yanado is incorporated in Bulgaria but our team is remote. We are all over the place and eventually we all moved out from Bulgaria at some point in time.
In February 2019, Bulgaria introduced the new law regarding online payments. It was very difficult to comply with remote companies.
Long story short, we had 60 days to comply (which was almost impossible) or to turn off billing for our customers, move to another country or ditch Braintree (we used Braintree for 3 years already) and use a 3rd party payment system.
We left with two options: a) a new company in another country or b) a 3rd party payment solution.
Option b) sounded better and we started looking at providers. After about a week, we learned that the best options for us are Paddle and Fastspring.
The idea was to move customers payment info from Braintree to the solution we select to use.
It turned out neither Paddle or Fastspring can easily import customer’s payment info from Braintree (guess if you don’t have millions of revenue nobody cares to do so).
The fallback was to a plan – a) open a new company in a new country. Looking for a country supported by Braintree (so we don’t need to move the customers’ payment info).
After looking at Hong Kong, Singapur, USA, Germany, Hungary, we decided that Hungary is our best option. It’s close to where we live (2 hours drive), we know a good accountant and everything looked great.
It took as around a month to set up a company and be ready for business. Once we did it, we contacted Braintree to give us a new merchant account within the same business account, which is something they said is possible.
That’s when the nightmare starts. They asked for utility bills, specifically the landline bill. Done. They changed their mind and asked for the electricity bill. Done.
Unfortunately, for whatever reason they had, they decided not to give us a merchant account for a new company. We have left with 5 days before we had to turn off Braintree billing.
Back to plan b) a 3rd party payment solution. After numerous meetings and calls, we picked Paddle as a winner.
We had a week to implement Paddle billing within Yanado. But that was just half the story. We had to move existing customers from Braintree to Paddle.
Since we could not import them, they had to re-enter their payment info again.
If you ever did this you know what nightmare that is. Once everything was over, we counted casualties. We lost 40% of MRR along the way. By the end of the year we spent 80% of our war chest. Ouch.
Misery never comes alone.
In the middle of the crisis, we started a Google verification and security audit to continue using Gmail API.
After passing verification, we started negotiating with a Google partner on security audits.
The total quote for our 4 apps (Gmail extension, standalone app, Android app and iOS app) was more than our war chest and we already spent 80% of it.
We started raising money, preparing the apps, updating our infrastructure and making sure our security was top notch.
While doing all of that, our team members had personal problems as well.
It took us 10 months to consolidate everything and get back on track.
It’s not that we haven’t done any work. We worked on a new product (part of it will be available within Yanado) and we’re getting ready to launch it.
I’ve skipped lots of crap in between, but you have enough info to at least try to understand why we didn’t know how to communicate this.
Now we know we should have updated you on every step of the road. Lesson learned.
Coronavirus and COVID-19
You probably know everything about this crap. Wash your hands. Stay home. We will post how to work from home if you never had to before.
We did some good stuff too.
We launched Yanado 2 and moved almost all customers to it. There are some hardcore legacy fans left, but they won’t be forced to move to Yanado 2. At least not yet.
We temporarily solved the access to Gmail API until security audit is in progress.
We added email templates to Yanado. Now you can create email templates from repetitive emails you sent. This will allow you to compose and reply to emails in seconds.
You can group templates in folders based on categories such as Sales, Customer support, etc.
We also have a new product for email & link tracking (waiting for the Chrome store to publish it). We track who opened your emails and who clicked on links in them.
Combining email tracking with email templates, you will know which email templates have the best open and clickthrough rate.
We also fixed gazillion bugs in Yanado and implemented small incremental improvements, but you don’t know about it because we failed to communicate.
Thanks for reading this update and we promise this communication mismanagement will not happen again.