Case Study

May 24, 2024

Why Feels’ Founder Relied on Prelude to Scale Growth

Building secure & sustainable onboarding for new users

Feels is a feel-good dating app designed to get you tons of good vibes as you swipe by rethinking the modern dating portfolio. With user experience at the forefront of the app’s positioning, it was paramount that user onboarding be secure and seamless. At the same time, their founder, Daniel Cheaib, needed an SMS verification provider that didn’t just work effectively but also helped the business scale. Daniel looked to the Prelude team to provide a better SMS verification experience for users and the Feels team.

Testing Prelude as an alternative SMS verification provider

As the founder of Feels, Daniel wears many hats. It’s his (and any founder’s) job to find the right balance between growth, profitability, and creating an environment where everybody likes coming to work. As a growing startup, Daniel is in charge of the relationships with service providers and costs.

The importance of costs and scale

Feels was using many different types of authentication (Google, Apple, and others) when they realized they needed to unify the experience to prevent fraud, but also find an option that scaled with their business. The big push to find new verification was led by growth efforts. It’s expensive to scale when you have as many phone numbers as accounts.

Seeking transparency

The next layer of onboarding looks at how seamlessly someone can onboard into your app. Unfortunately, with other providers, Feels didn’t have transparency into the inner workings of how many SMS messages were being sent or what happened when things went wrong—and they couldn't assist users who were blocked and reaching out. This came to a head when another provider started to change their pricing and became more opaque about their fees. More transparency was needed.

Testing alternatives

This pushed Daniel to look for alternatives. That’s when he found Prelude. Initially, Daniel routed just a fraction of traffic through Prelude to see how it would stack up to other options on the market. But when Prelude outperformed other options on cost, transparency, and customer support, Daniel moved all of their traffic over to Prelude.


💡 At first, we thought we didn’t want to be dependent on one provider because as soon as that provider decides to increase costs, it becomes an emergency…so we set up a system in which we can connect to multiple providers, and in the beginning, we chose two different ones. Knowing that Prelude was already an aggregator we figured we could rely more on Prelude vs another provider that only relies on a single carrier. We set up both and introduced Prelude in a new market and it works very well. We were struck by Prelude’s transparency and the ease of setting up the partnership and the data shared. It took a few months, but now all of our traffic is on Prelude. - Daniel Cheaib, Founder of Feels.


Better SMS verification, with better support

Build a better UX for your customers

“We used to use competitors, but they didn’t offer a dashboard where I could track how many people were getting our messages every day. I only saw that at the end of the month in one invoice, and they made mistakes in that invoice and in that pricing. With Prelude, I can check on my customers. If they have an issue, I can look into it by phone number and follow up with them,” Daniel told us.

Most SMS verification alternatives are built by large companies that offer this service in a suite of tools. At Prelude, we’re hyper-focused on this one area and optimize for what founders and builders need. We think that transparency in your user experience and billing is part of that. Make every ping count for your customer experience, not your bill.

Here’s what our dashboard looks like:


Cost

At Prelude, we use over 20 different providers to find the most stable and most affordable route. In contrast, alternatives likely only use one route, and they don't do algorithm-based optimization, which means they’re only adjusting those routes if you press them. We’re able to optimize costs and reliability with smart and AI-powered algorithms that enhance reliability, precision of fraud detection, and affordability

💡 We compared Prelude with other international providers, and they are much better. The service works well, and that's the first thing you want to be sure of. The company is really professional, and it does the work of aggregating the best traffic for you, so you don’t have to bother with that.

Support

At Prelude, we’re nimble and quick to respond to our customers. We think this is important for small teams. Most of our customers tell us how frustrating it is to work with large companies that make you queue for customer support. For scrappy startups that need to build fast, this is a significant blocker. Not to mention, when bills are wrong you want to talk with someone to review the costs, not end up in a billing queue with a lack of transparency on how you were charged.

Daniel put it simply: “When I write to the Prelude team, I get an answer pretty fast. I can rely on them.”



Feels is a feel-good dating app designed to get you tons of good vibes as you swipe by rethinking the modern dating portfolio. With user experience at the forefront of the app’s positioning, it was paramount that user onboarding be secure and seamless. At the same time, their founder, Daniel Cheaib, needed an SMS verification provider that didn’t just work effectively but also helped the business scale. Daniel looked to the Prelude team to provide a better SMS verification experience for users and the Feels team.

Testing Prelude as an alternative SMS verification provider

As the founder of Feels, Daniel wears many hats. It’s his (and any founder’s) job to find the right balance between growth, profitability, and creating an environment where everybody likes coming to work. As a growing startup, Daniel is in charge of the relationships with service providers and costs.

The importance of costs and scale

Feels was using many different types of authentication (Google, Apple, and others) when they realized they needed to unify the experience to prevent fraud, but also find an option that scaled with their business. The big push to find new verification was led by growth efforts. It’s expensive to scale when you have as many phone numbers as accounts.

Seeking transparency

The next layer of onboarding looks at how seamlessly someone can onboard into your app. Unfortunately, with other providers, Feels didn’t have transparency into the inner workings of how many SMS messages were being sent or what happened when things went wrong—and they couldn't assist users who were blocked and reaching out. This came to a head when another provider started to change their pricing and became more opaque about their fees. More transparency was needed.

Testing alternatives

This pushed Daniel to look for alternatives. That’s when he found Prelude. Initially, Daniel routed just a fraction of traffic through Prelude to see how it would stack up to other options on the market. But when Prelude outperformed other options on cost, transparency, and customer support, Daniel moved all of their traffic over to Prelude.


💡 At first, we thought we didn’t want to be dependent on one provider because as soon as that provider decides to increase costs, it becomes an emergency…so we set up a system in which we can connect to multiple providers, and in the beginning, we chose two different ones. Knowing that Prelude was already an aggregator we figured we could rely more on Prelude vs another provider that only relies on a single carrier. We set up both and introduced Prelude in a new market and it works very well. We were struck by Prelude’s transparency and the ease of setting up the partnership and the data shared. It took a few months, but now all of our traffic is on Prelude. - Daniel Cheaib, Founder of Feels.


Better SMS verification, with better support

Build a better UX for your customers

“We used to use competitors, but they didn’t offer a dashboard where I could track how many people were getting our messages every day. I only saw that at the end of the month in one invoice, and they made mistakes in that invoice and in that pricing. With Prelude, I can check on my customers. If they have an issue, I can look into it by phone number and follow up with them,” Daniel told us.

Most SMS verification alternatives are built by large companies that offer this service in a suite of tools. At Prelude, we’re hyper-focused on this one area and optimize for what founders and builders need. We think that transparency in your user experience and billing is part of that. Make every ping count for your customer experience, not your bill.

Here’s what our dashboard looks like:


Cost

At Prelude, we use over 20 different providers to find the most stable and most affordable route. In contrast, alternatives likely only use one route, and they don't do algorithm-based optimization, which means they’re only adjusting those routes if you press them. We’re able to optimize costs and reliability with smart and AI-powered algorithms that enhance reliability, precision of fraud detection, and affordability

💡 We compared Prelude with other international providers, and they are much better. The service works well, and that's the first thing you want to be sure of. The company is really professional, and it does the work of aggregating the best traffic for you, so you don’t have to bother with that.

Support

At Prelude, we’re nimble and quick to respond to our customers. We think this is important for small teams. Most of our customers tell us how frustrating it is to work with large companies that make you queue for customer support. For scrappy startups that need to build fast, this is a significant blocker. Not to mention, when bills are wrong you want to talk with someone to review the costs, not end up in a billing queue with a lack of transparency on how you were charged.

Daniel put it simply: “When I write to the Prelude team, I get an answer pretty fast. I can rely on them.”



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