Mrsool (pronounced mar-sool) is the first deliver-anything platform in the MENA region, founded in 2015 by Ayman Al Sanad and Nayef Al Samri, Mrsool is the largest Saudi app of its kind in the region!
With more than 1.7 billion Saudi Riyals GMV in 2019, and continued hypergrowth across three countries, Mrsool has solved many technical and operational challenges by being customer-obsessed and engineering-driven in every single decision made.
We’re proudly a community of people helping each other, in fact, more than 70% of Mrsoolers (our professional couriers) have ordered from Mrsool. It’s one massive community of carefully vetted professionals.
We spend as much time as it needs to review and approve our Mrsoolers, that’s why Mrsoolers aren’t just your run-of-the-mill couriers, they often advise customers what to choose and how to save money, as our founders put it: “it’s like a having a brother in every corner of the city”.
That being said, it comes as no surprise that Mrsool is the highest rated app in the region! Both in the App Store and Google Play. Our customers love everything about Mrsool. You can browse social media to see stories upon stories of how Mrsool saved customers in times of urgency and delivered joy and fulfillment in others.
Reaching all these remarkable milestones with little to zero marketing-budget for the better part of Mrsool’s life, one might wonder how we did that? Well, today we’re going to shed light upon two of Mrsool’s unique engineering accomplishments that helped make Mrsool what it is today:
Communication is not necessary - no one ever
We realized early on that communication is one of the most important and often overlooked features for an on-demand delivery app, as we don’t just deliver food, thus, our chat comes into play to do a multitude of tasks, like sending a text, photos, voice notes (a personal favorite), changing the invoice, sharing location, filing a complaint and so much more.
Whether it’s extra mayonnaise or getting things from multiple stores, you can use our chat to make the most out of your order, and our Mrsoolers will keep you updated and may even take a teaser photo of your hot wrapped food 🔥.
Our chat also comes in handy when you order from our digital store, only this time you will be talking to our trained bot 🤖.
Knowing that our chat is a crucial part of our experience, we spent quite some time to architect it well, based on the open-source Ejabberd with a high-availability multi-node setup.
However, computers are inherently unreliable, that’s why we plan ahead for failures. If our Ejabberd cluster became unavailable, we automatically failover to our custom-built chat APIs, during that period users’ experiences will be degraded (some interactive features will be disabled) but nonetheless our users will still enjoy the core features of our chat. Planning ahead for failures allows us to conduct upgrades and maintenance without worrying about affecting our users.
As we’re using the same app for Mrsoolers and our customers, this allows our Mrsoolers to enjoy the same robust chat experience.
One of the unique cultural attributes of Mrsool’s engineering team that we study the problem carefully, never releasing features for the sake of adding features.
Our features tend to be laser-focused on one particular problem, it does one thing and it does it well. That’s why we took our time to build our payments system from the ground up, specifically built for our region.
We want our customers to have the convenience of paying with ease, whether it’s Apple Pay, credit card, or fintech apps. However, we understand the cash flow challenge for our Mrsoolers, they pay for the goods and often they pay large sums for expensive orders like electronics.
We challenged ourselves to be one of the few companies worldwide that have an instant payout system, it took us some time to build, but it was worth it. Since its launch, it has proven to be a robust solution that handles hundreds of millions per month with 99.98% success rate.
After an order is delivered, it goes through our payouts engine to validate and consolidate with Mrsooler’s account balance, then it goes through a series of checks, things like if there is no complaint filed and many other rules. Once the order is cleared, the Mrsooler will receive an instant bank or digital wallet transfer from Mrsool, which can be cashed out immediately!
Of course, such a system needs proactive monitoring, thus we’re building monitoring infrastructure to catch issues before they become disastrous.
Mrsool is determined to change how we live in the region today, we’ll leave no stone unturned, we’ll tackle challenges that are unique to our region and our people, and we’ll continue to innovate for our ever-growing community.
Having an engineering-first culture, it’s quite common to find our CEO, CTO, and other executives jumping in and developing an entire feature or helping debug and solve problems.
However, the challenges are growing faster than we can keep up, in Eid Al Fitr holiday our infrastructure handled more than 600,000 orders in a single day! And we’re expecting more to come.