Launch Planning


Following a successful launch in Germany, and with funding from two major car manufacturers, disruptive used car platform heycar were determined to replicate this success in the UK. We worked alongside heycar before launch, supporting them to ensure their infrastructure could withstand anticipated traffic from their national marketing campaign.

The Challenge

heycar is an online used car marketplace. They bring together used car dealerships and customers to make it easier to buy a used vehicle.

heycar use AWS Lambda, a serverless compute platform chosen for its scalability characteristics, but our initial load tests showed that the platform would struggle in meeting expected demand from an upcoming large scale marketing campaign.

With a fixed launch date six weeks away, and a UK-wide marketing campaign on the horizon, our challenge was to identify and reduce operational risk, scale the platform up, and ensure a smooth launch.

What heycar said...

With only six weeks to launch, we needed a reliable team to support us and I knew that The Scale Factory could give us best in class service

Having experienced AWS experts taking care of scaling out our infrastructure gave me confidence that we’d be able to hit our launch date, and meant that the development team could focus on building feature improvements instead.

Our Role

A team of experienced Scale Factory consultants reviewed the architecture to identify potential failure modes that could prevent a successful launch. We provided a detailed risk assessment scored by likelihood and potential impact, and made improvements in order of priority.

We added platform metrics with CloudWatch and request tracing with X-Ray, along with dashboards and alerting. Using this monitoring foundation, and a distributed load testing solution, we made data-driven decisions to tune the platform, increasing capacity 1000x.

Our team worked closely with heycar’s engineering team to support and suggest low-risk changes to their applications, to improve their performance and reliability.

We took information about the scheduling of TV adverts, and used that to inform an operational calendar.

The Results

heycar UK launched successfully on the 14th of August 2019. As a result of our work, the platform remained available and performant during the periods of increased load driven by ads during prime time TV.