A Web Platform for Socially-Conscious Investing

A solution allowing to invest in female- and minority-led small businesses, low-income communities, and affordable housing development across America.

Client

CNote, a privately held U.S. company, came up with an idea to help individuals promote economic development and job creation and invest in communities underserved by traditional financial institutions. To this end, our client wanted to create an investment platform that would not only generate financial returns but would also contribute to increased inclusion, social justice, and equality.

The company partnered with the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), lenders that issue business or development loans to disadvantaged communities that may not otherwise have access to credit. The CDFIs were expected to allocate the funds invested through the platform for the benefit of these communities.

Challenge

By the time the client reached out to EffectiveSoft, the investment platform had been partially developed, but assistance was needed to accelerate the product’s introduction to end-users.

We were contracted to complete the development of a fully functional product and expand it with new features and the administrative panel.

Solution

The web-based platform we developed is intended for people planning to invest money in socially-impactful initiatives, e.g., local businesses. The money transferred through the platform goes to federally-certified CDFIs that support small businesses led by minorities, immigrants, refugees, etc.

We improved the software interface following the UI/UX best practices and used React JS for the front-end to achieve better performance, simplicity for users, and scalability.

When interacting with the platform, the user can:

  • create a personal or a business account
  • link an investment account to a bank account
  • invest in multiple products with no fees
  • set up one-time or recurring investments
  • withdraw funds

Admin panel

The team created the admin panel from scratch to provide a site administrator with an advanced set of tools. We used the Node.js Express framework to develop it.

The panel allows the administrators to:

  • manage user accounts and track users’ interactions with the platform
  • configure different investment products for the platform users
  • verify investments and withdrawal requests
  • transfer investments in batches to a CNote-branded third-party payment system account
  • synchronize the platform data with the data stored in the company’s account of the third-party payment system
  • view reports on users’ registration and investments

Results

The product was a great success, and our cooperation with the client continues as we keep improving the platform.

Statistics as of April 2020:

  • number of users – over 3,000,
  • committed assets – more than $50 million.

Stack

Programming languages: JavaScript, TypeScript, HTML
Technologies & Tools
Back-end: Node.js (express), third-party payment system
Front-end: React, Redux
Automated Tests: jest, cypress
AWS: EC2, RDS, S3, and more

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