How Our FinTech Startup Migrated to MongoDB’s Database-as-a-Service to Save Time and Money

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July 06, 2017
Category: Customer Stories, Cloud

aBorrow is a Thailand-based fintech platform that matches loan products with borrowers’ profiles and needs. Launched in 2016, aBorrow needed a database they could trust to provide the high quality security and scalability required to handle their growing business Co-Founder and CTO, Cholathit Khueankaew, shares how MongoDB Atlas satisfied that need and transformed aBorrow’s business quickly, easily, and affordably.


As CTO and co-founder of a small business in Thailand, I spent hours managing production database configuration and monitoring until MongoDB Atlas was introduced. MongoDB now has multiple AWS regions available to host databases. This all-inclusive cloud-based solution was exactly what our business needed. Plus, it’s available at a perfect price point. Here is how MongoDB Atlas helped shape our startup and increase our efficiency.

I’m the co-founder and CTO of a startup, aBorrow, which is based out of Thailand. We launched our business about a year ago. At that time, we were using MongoDB for development, but we didn't have expertise in monitoring a production cluster in AWS. This created a perplexing issue for us until MongoDB Atlas was introduced. Its new cloud-based platform was the answer to our questions and exactly what we were looking for in a solution. MongoDB now has multiple AWS regions available to host databases. Although we are based in Thailand, we actually use cloud services in the Singapore region. With MongoDB Atlas, we can offload our database management to the cloud, which saves us time and money.

Essentially, we get a complete cloud-based database solution with optimized monitoring out of the box; the service is built on AWS but powered by MongoDB. It’s what we needed for staging, beta, and production because it comes with a dashboard where we can configure everything— adding new servers, monitoring uptime and downtime, and how the cloud database is operating.

Implementation was easier than I expected, too. I thought I would need several days setting up MongoDB Atlas and getting it ready for our developers. In the end, setup and the move to production took only a few hours. It was amazing.

Plus, we work in finance, so scalability and security is essential. aBorrow matches loan products with borrower’s profiles and needs. Being a loan consultant platform, our overall goal is to increase a borrower’s chance of being approved for a loan, and on the other hand, increase efficiency on bank's end and decrease acquisition cost. As our business has matured, we have learned who the best customers are to target, so we’ve doubled-down on our marketing expenses. We have jumped from 100 applications per day to 400 coming into our database. MongoDB has handled the increase in volume without issue.

MongoDB Atlas’ dashboard provides me with the transparency I need to feel confident that we are secure and running seamlessly. I can monitor security directly on the dashboard and MongoDB Atlas does the work. It monitors the database and provide backups with the data always being replicated in different availability zones. It provides end-to-end encryption of all the data and it uses Amazon’s own tools to keep databases safe. The solution also allows us to add new servers quickly and efficiently, which means we’re never inconveniencing our customer base.

Having visibility in the dashboards is among my favorite features. Other cloud solutions require logging into a third-party vendor to view the dashboard. With MongoDB, visibility is a click away. It is fast and easy and that is crucial, especially for maintaining data integrity.

MongoDB: A Developer’s Software

I like MongoDB Atlas because they’re looking to the future. They’re transitioning to providing infrastructure as service, which is vital. In addition, the MongoDB community is one of the biggest reasons we use the platform. They treat developers well and work diligently to build tools that developers want.

aBorrow is still growing—and quickly—and we’re still learning about cloud-based database solutions as we go. Our team is still quite small, and I don’t consider us super users for this type of platform yet; however, our experience with MongoDB Atlas is that the solution is quite complete. Even better, the minds at MongoDB are constantly releasing updates. Currently, we are enjoying a new feature called Data Explorer. We love it. We can query data from the database right on the admin dashboard or monitor how it is working. The solution and its capabilities are evolving. As a career developer, it is what I look for in a solution. I want a feature-rich product that will continuously get better.

Cost-Effective Startup Solution

Since we’ve made the switch to MongoDB Atlas, we are also saving money. Where other solutions charge their clients for use of the database, MongoDB is designed to be used as a database from the ground up.

Even better, with MongoDB Atlas, aBorrow is not being charged for services that we’re not using. Take for example, our setup. We currently use two database instances. Each cluster has three nodes, so we use six total nodes. We’ve spent only $40 in the past three months. Anybody who wants to use MongoDB can quickly provision it in the cloud and get platform support from the MongoDB team.

Not only is this impressive, but it’s invaluable to a startup like aBorrow.

Building a Business with MongoDB Atlas

Building, monitoring and maintaining our database is integral to the operation of aBorrow, but—to be honest—we have so much more on our plate than worrying about the functionality and performance of our database solution. That’s why MongoDB Atlas is so perfect for us. The company has yet to experience a failure or downtime of any kind. Even better, MongoDB Atlas is always providing usable statistics and up-to-the-minute feedback via its dashboard.

Ultimately, it works for our needs and resources. We are a team of four and it saves us time. With MongoDB Atlas, we do not need to do a lot of deploying, monitoring or orchestrating instances on the cloud because everything is done by MongoDB. The solution is built with my company’s needs in mind. Its easy-to-use interface ensures that I can get what I need at a moment’s notice and then get back to the business of running my business. It’s ideal for any entrepreneur who is looking for an all-in-one cloud-based service.


About Cholathit Khueankaew, Chief Technology Officer at aBorrow Company Limited

Aspired to be a software engineer since childhood. Spent years in Seattle, WA, studying, interning, and gaining experience in software development. Worked at an international software agency in Thailand, before starting own software house as Managing Director and Project Manager. Introverted, but a good team player and leader. Practical, technical, and analytical. Love to explore and experiment with new technologies and web stacks. Located in Chiang Mai and Bangkok, Thailand.

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