Swing analysis app
Swing analysis app
V1 Sports gets into the swing of things with Flutter
How Very Good Ventures and RevenueCat helped transform V1 Sports’ popular golf, baseball, and softball training apps for instructors, coaches, and athletes.
V1 Sports’ six mobile apps each used a different codebase. This approach burdened development teams that were seeking to reduce overhead, maximize revenues, and add new features to expand the business. Supporting six separate codebases was expensive, time-consuming, and limiting growth.
V1 Sports partnered with the Flutter experts at Very Good Ventures (VGV) and, the subscription app monetization platform, RevenueCat to develop new Flutter apps using a single codebase. Working on both iOS and Android devices, the new apps offer better performance, easier maintenance, smoother development and feature growth, and seamless subscription management
Impact: The new apps launched in June 2022. In November 2022, V1 Sports’ revenues had doubled compared to the previous year. Conversion rates increased. Total users now total more than 300,000. Customer experience has improved. Developers can easily add new features, too, unleashing new opportunities for the company.
Five codes too many
V1 Sports offers six mobile apps for golfers and baseball players. Since its founding in 1995, the Michigan-based company has established itself as a pioneer in producing swing video analysis learning and instruction software for instructors, coaches, and athletes. The company’s popular native apps use industry-leading video analysis and lesson delivery tools with voiceover, telestration, content, and integrated ground pressure data to help coaches elevate their instruction and athletes improve faster.
“V1 Sports’ goal is to provide tools for athletes to improve – from a beginner to an elite athlete,” said V1 Sports CEO Alex Prasad. “We’re working towards that every day.”
In 2021, however, the apps at the heart of V1 Sports’ success were identified as a roadblock in the company’s growth plans for their mobile engineering, digital products, and platforms teams. The issues stemmed from their codebases. Each one was different. Maintaining six apps with six separate codebases was expensive and time-consuming. Adding new features in particular was becoming too much of a challenge. By late 2021, after securing funding from the Black Cat Ventures Technology Fund, the company knew that the time had come to overhaul the apps using the newest, most innovative approach to software development.
This led V1 Sports to partner with the Flutter development experts at VGV and subscription app monetization platform, RevenueCat, to develop new Flutter apps using a single codebase that works across iOS and Android devices, ensuring higher quality performance, more efficient maintenance, easy ongoing development, and seamless subscription management. At the end of the nine-month project, VGV also assisted with simultaneous app releases on Apple’s App Store and Google Play and transferred knowledge to the V1 Sports team now managing them.
The results have been stellar. “We feel very confident that we can do everything that we need or want to do for all of our apps using Flutter,” said V1 Sports CTO Michael Boumansour, who joined the company in 2021 with the mission to find new tools to achieve their new strategic goals. “All of our mobile apps will be using the Flutter platform.”
The Problem: Aging native mobile apps
In addition to faster and easier maintenance, V1 Sports specifically wanted their apps to support other hardware, like launch monitors to track shots and pressure mats to analyze an athlete’s ground force. They were using six separate codebases, which fragmented their software development team and fostered slow and costly digital operations. Adding features, conducting updates, or repeating the same minor alteration, like a price change, for example, across six apps, each requiring separate code work, could take weeks.
“We had one developer working on each of them. It was like we were fighting a war on six different fronts,” said Boumansour. “We couldn’t achieve the things the company wanted to achieve from a product point of view or revenue point of view.”
V1 Sports’ apps also deployed several systems for in-app purchases, pricing, and other billing, payment, and account functions. The company was also searching for an advanced solution to glean deeper insights about customer behavior. V1 Sports needed less resource-intensive and more flexible subscription management as well as better ways to understand their business.
Executives identified three strategic goals to develop apps that suited their vision. First, V1 Sports would simplify and consolidate codebases across their six apps. Second, they would modernize their mobile apps so they easily supported new features. Third, they couldn’t sacrifice anything in their products. Whatever new codebase they chose had to support all their existing app functionalities.
The Solution: Flutter and flawless UX
The VGV-RevenueCat partnership created a flawless user experience for V1 Sports’ customers. VGV developed a combined codebase, providing V1 Sports with myriad benefits, including more efficient maintenance and better-quality features. VGV then turned to RevenueCat – a best-in-class in-app subscription management platform – to power in-app purchases and act as a single source of truth for subscription data.
To achieve this success, VGV delivered a comprehensive set of engineering services.
VGV conducted a thorough code assessment of V1 Sports’ apps and their business problems, obtaining API endpoint documentation prior to development and leveraging Very Good Start, VGV’s foundational Flutter app and code generator, and Very Good Architecture, which manages how data appears in user interfaces, to create workflows for continuous integration and delivery.
After mapping out a development plan that prioritized next steps based on the findings of the code assessment, VGV organized work into Jira sprints alongside V1 Sports’ existing product and program management team and made other preparations.
Working closely with V1 Sports’ development team to define which features to prioritize to ensure product expectations, VGV drafted robust code documentation and a UI components gallery to ensure V1 Sports’ teams could easily understand and adapt their apps’ new code in the future.
VGV oversaw quality assurance before launch, using Apple TestFlight and Google Play Console Testing to ensure design questions, bug testing, and major fixes were completed before their official submission to the app stores. VGV also worked with V1 Sports on the app store submission process and helped make adjustments based on Apple and Google’s feedback. Lastly, they created a post-app launch optimization backlog to facilitate adding new features in the future.
VGV provided post-launch assistance, including ongoing bug testing and quality assurance to address additional design issues that arose after launch. They also conducted knowledge transfer sessions to walk V1 Sports’ teams through their new code architecture to make the handoff easier and more productive.
As a way to upgrade V1’s in-house, in-app purchasing solutions, VGV recommended migrating to RevenueCat’s infrastructure. RevenueCat provided a backend and wrapper around the App Store and Google Play’s APIs to handle in-app purchases for V1 Sports, acting as a cross-platform source of truth for their purchase data.
Boumansour described RevenueCat’s capabilities, which drove revenue increases following the launch of the new Flutter apps, as “revelatory.”
He was particularly excited to gain a single source of truth for revenues and subscription data rather than relying on disparate reports. These capabilities allowed the marketing and product teams to gain growth-driving insights into customer behavior while never again having to worry about reconciling data points across different platforms or apps.
“We are no longer constrained,” he said. “If our product and marketing teams want to make a change in pricing or pricing tiers, who gets what entitlements, all that can be handled through configuration through RevenueCat. And from an implementation standpoint, we were very pleasantly surprised at how easy it was. Tracking these numbers under one roof is like a dream.”
Final Result: Growth
Since the new apps launched in June 2022, V1 Sports has posted record growth every month, nearly doubling revenues in November 2022 compared to the year before. Their user base has exceeded 300,000 accounts. Conversion rates have increased.
V1 Sports credits not only the improved apps for their success, but the dramatically superior customer experience and better marketing that the less costly, more efficient, and more flexible apps made possible. Collaborating with Very Good Ventures, V1 Sports is now using Flutter to build new professional-level versions of their apps that add new, more advanced features to existing products, an unheard-of possibility when the company used six codebases. They aim to eventually use Flutter to consolidate their desktop app with their mobile offerings.
V1 Sports had a few reasons to choose Flutter. Since members of the V1 Sports development team were familiar with Java and C++, they could quickly acclimate to Flutter’s programming language, Dart. The company’s development team also admired Flutter’s robust widget system, which offers more transparent plugins. As the process unfolded, however, they discovered other benefits, too. V1 Sports saved significant time, for instance, through Flutter’s hot reload function, which allows developers to see code changes without having to upload the whole app. That was a perk when everyone involved was working closely together to migrate the apps to their new platform.
“VGV and RevenueCat did a really good job of making sure that there was plenty of time for us to collaborate,” said Boumansour, adding that on-site visits and video calls became routine during development. “Trying to do everything electronically, in a written form, just never works. You really need that face time. That was another really key aspect of this success. Everybody worked hard to develop relationships with one another.”
V1 Sports was already a high-performing technology company. With the help of Flutter experts Very Good Ventures and RevenueCat, it’s now on an accelerated revenue, product, and feature growth trajectory, with more to come.
About V1 Sports
Founded in 1995, V1 Sports is the pioneer in producing swing video analysis learning and instruction solutions. More than 10,000 of the best coaches, instructors, and training facilities, and over four million athletes, have used the company’s products. V1 PRO Studio creates a world-class video capture environment with multiple high-definition, high-frame cameras for optimal analysis. Today, the V1 Sports platform – V1 PRO, V1 GOLF, V1 GAME, and V1 BASEBALL – connects coaches and athletes through video, ground pressure analysis from the V1 Pressure Mat, and on-course performance data for measurable improvement. Headquartered in Michigan, V1 Sports employees are dedicated to creating transformative solutions for coaches and athletes to improve quicker and enjoy the game more.