Send and process letters and packages without stamps or printing labels with the help of AI
About Stamp Free
Stamp Free is an innovative startup utilising AI technology to disrupt how we send and return items, without the need for stamps or printed labels. They offer a Digicode for individuals and businesses to send items stamp-free.
Our task was to work collaboratively with the Stamp Free team to build phase 1 of their mobile app development. Over 5 months we spent time understanding their data requirements before providing web and backend development services. The end result was a launchable MVP that could be shown to postal companies and organisations to generate sales and partnerships.
With GearedApp, there’s more to it than someone doing a bit of coding. They really understood what we were trying to achieve and got our requirements exactly right. When the end product has the exact look and feels you had hoped for, you really can’t quantify that.
Pay and Send Letters
Stamp Free required the development of a mobile app to replace a stamp using a digital code. The app was built to allow users to generate a code to write on their parcel in place of a stamp. This involved complex logic to ensure that every number generated was both unique and trackable, so that we can handle thousands of concurrent users without duplication, and protect against system abuse
Validate Parcels with the Carrier App
The second app we developed was for carriers so that they can scan and validate items throughout their journey.
This involved using an algorithm trained by Computer Vision to read the user’s handwritten Digicodes and send to the backend for validation.
Web dashboard and Backend Services
This platform required a web dashboard to allow admin to follow each postal item throughout its journey, validate when it is delivered or processed. We also provided comprehensive backend development services to produce all the mobile app logic.
Choosing the Tech Stack
For the mobile apps, we chose to use React Native for its high code reusability between the platforms. We also created an MVP Android (Kotlin) app for Carriers as this enabled us to take advantage of the most performant camera modules for Digi Code scanning.
The web app needed to be accessed across browsers and devices. For this reason, we decided to develop a web app using React using CRA and material-UI.
The main back-end application is structured as individual micro-services which respond well to high traffic and help with platform resilience – if one section was to break, it wouldn’t take down the whole app.
On the back-end, we used Node/Express.js on Stamp Free’s AWS environment. AWS allows Stamp Free to scale up infrastructure in line with usage.
We verified the Digicodes using a custom Python visual recognition module.
Stripe was integrated into the system as a payment provider.
The End Result
This project equipped Stamp Free with an MVP of their postal stamp disruptor. Stamp Free were able to prove the viability of the idea and demonstrate it to potential clients. Following our collaboration, the Stamp Free team has grown their Management Team and raised £425,000 at a pre-investment valuation of £2M. They have also secured grant funding from Scottish Enterprise’s High Growth Ventures programme. Stamp Free is now working on the second phase of the project.
Stamp Free is leading the way with handwritten recognition technology. The potential use cases for their product go beyond the postal system. The team hope to continue developing their vision with parcel codes becoming commonplace in homes across the UK and around the globe.
As a testament to their vision, Stamp Free received the Retail and Customer Service Innovation of the Year award at the 2021 Parcel & Post International Expo.