Case study: ManoMano

Turning a quick prototype into a fully-fledged ecommerce app for several European markets.

ManoMano screens

ManoMano is a startup valuated at $2.6 billion on their latest funding round in 2021. They are the largest marketplace for products and services in the DIY, gardening and Home Improvement sector in Europe.

While originally French, ManoMano expanded beyond their home country's borders into Belgium (2014), Spain and Italy (2015), and then Germany and the UK (2016). In 2019 they launched a B2B platform with the goal of revolutionising the purchasing process for smaller companies that traditional distribution models don’t cater for.

It's only natural that they also had to meet their clients on the devices that each of us uses most often - phones.


Thanks to Brains & Beards, we have been able to consolidate two great teams and turn our app into a cornerstone of the company's strategy.

Jose Maria EliasEngineering ManagerManoMano - Colibri SAS


ManoMano came to us in 2020 to help them untangle the initial mobile app prototype and turn it into a maintainable, long-term codebase that can be efficiently extended with new features and used to deploy multiple flavours of the application for different markets and users.
  • The original code base was difficult to work with and showed significant architectural issues that manifested in performance problems. Those issues had to be gradually addressed without stopping the work on extending the app's functionality.
  • The scope quickly grew to two core developer teams (and multiple contributors from other teams within the company) that work together to release different flavours of the app for two distinct customer segments across five European markets.

All of this while building an in-house mobile team from scratch and setting up the ways of working.


I genuinely value their efficiency, accuracy and clear communication, which are keys to a great collaboration between Tech and Product. I would sincerely recommend working with Brains & Beards to product teams as it’s a huge asset to have them onboard!

Gregoire BoisLead Product ManagerManoMano - Colibri SAS


First step to get the codebase under control was to introduce TypeScript everywhere and improve the static code analysis and unit test setups. This allowed us to move faster and make changes more confidently. Next steps involved cleaning up the app's information structure and dividing code responsibilities that also fixed a lot of the most annoying UX bugs.

The original codebase was created by an external company and when we joined we started working alongside a newly forming in-house mobile team. During this early phase we were able to contribute a lot of knowledge that we gained working on other projects and on other teams to help them get a head start into an agile workflow that helped them manage the team's workload efficiently.

Another bigger initiative that went smooth thanks to the experience we gained on tens of other React Native projects we worked on previously was engineering a smooth release process. The workflow for releasing four different flavours of the application from a single codebase needs a lot of tuning and we ended up with a pipeline where we'd use the AWS (ARM-only, to save energy and meet the company's sustainability goals) infrastructure to build the app and run the E2E tests in Detox. Once the tests are green we had an automatic deployment pipeline either through the app store for scheduled release, or directly pushed to the users when fixing critical bugs.

E2E tests are a necessary part of any bigger application, but they are notoriously time-consuming to maintain. Fortunately, we had a custom in-house tool to handle network traffic that let our infrastructure stay independent from other parts of the platform.

In general, Mobile DevOps is a part of the job where your team's experience has a huge payoff. We could leverage it to introduce a multi-branch testing solution that allowed Product Managers and QA engineers to quickly test many different code branches, by easily downloading new app bundles to their devices.

Finally, one of the signs of trust ManoMano had in our developers was when one of our colleagues was appointed the role of leading one of the two core mobile teams when the previous leader went on maternity leave.


Brains & Beards team is made up of highly skilled professionals who are dedicated to delivering results. They are truly experts in their field and I would highly recommend them!

Lina AstierProduct Manager - B2B Mobile AppManoMano - Colibri SAS


Femtasy reviews

And here we are, almost three years later. We touched virtually every part of the codebase and contributed to delivery of most of the features, including initiatives such as experimental migration to GraphQL, complete checkout process overhaul, and countless others.

While initially cautious about the relationship between the in-house team and an external company, ManoMano saw the value of having experts with an outside perspective among the development team for one of their crucial sales channels.

We're still working with ManoMano to help them deliver the features their users need and the outcomes that the business side expects. One deploy at a time.


Deep technical knowledge, human touch, high level of engagement, leadership skills, adaptability… there are many reasons for which I’m trusting completely in Brains & Beards to make the story of ManoMano apps a great success.

Marc TorrentHead of EngineeringManoMano - Colibri SAS

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