Challenging the #1 marketplace of used vehicles in Costa Rica

Challenging the #1 marketplace of used vehicles in Costa Rica

"SINAPTIA delivered a high-end and polished e-commerce platform exceeding my expectations. They established a seamless workflow through the extensive use of communication tools."

Julián Arias

About Dunu506

Dunu506 is a self-funded startup from San José, Costa Rica. Julián, Co-Founder and CEO, had the vision of becoming the number one marketplace of used vehicles in Costa Rica.

The Challenge

Costa Rica had a clear number one marketplace of used vehicles by the time Julián contacted us. This marketplace is a very outdated one, with an early 2000's look and a really poor UX/UI. So it was obvious that the first challenge was to overpower it by giving Dunu506 a modern UI and a well designed UX. Part of this requirement was that the application had to be mobile-first, as it was a hypothesis that most people would use it on their phones. Given this hypothesis, the second challenge was to make a fast application mobile users can enjoy the experience of using the application. If it’s fast, beautiful and with lots of good features then people are going to love it! The third challenge was, of course, time. We only had 4 months to complete the application, so Julián could start validating it in the market.

The Solution

It all started by benchmarking the competition not only in Costa Rica but worldwide. With that benchmark we started working on the prototypes at the same time as the development took place.

In order to finish the application on time and budget we decided the architecture of the application to be a hybrid Ruby on Rails/React application. That is, instead of building a Ruby on Rails API and a full React frontend (ala create-react-app), to build a standard Ruby on Rails application with specific React components for components that need to be highly responsive UX-wise.

screenshot of the app

The Outcome

After the 4 months deadline we had set, the MVP was up and running full featured, with a beautiful UX/UI and gaining organic users and listings, ready to overthrow the leading marketplace of used vehicles in Costa Rica!

The hypothesis mentioned as part of the challenge was proven as 85% of the users access the application through their mobile phones.

While the application grows and gains more and more users and listings we continue working with Julián on improving the experience of buying used vehicles, by developing features no other competitors can offer. The newly created feature, the DunuCheck, allows users of the marketplace to ask for a completely objective test of the vehicle of their choosing in order to perform an educated decision at the time of buying their next vehicle.

screenshot of the app

"I could not be happier with the outcome. The final deliverable was a high-end, polished e-commerce platform which we will soon launch to market and have big plans for. The end result was above my expectations in many ways and I'm positive SINAPTIA was the right pick for this project."

Julián Arias


Ruby on Rails


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