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How Clokka Launched Their Marketplace for Luxury Watches in 3 Weeks with Midtype

With Christopher Knight, CEO

Clokka is a peer-to-peer marketplace for luxury watches. It is the first luxury watch marketplace built on brand, culture and value-added services, and the safest way for Millenials to flip and purchase high-end watches online. They leveraged Midtype to handle the backend for their application, integrating it with Webflow without any developers on the team.


The Challenge

Chris Knight, CEO of Clokka, had ambitious plans for his company. While going through YCombinator's Startup School program, he and his team formulated a plan for launch. They had designers, customers, and even investors ready to go. But there remained one major roadblock: they didn't have a tech team to get their MVP out the door.

Finding the perfect developer for their project would've taken weeks of effort to hire, not to mention the time it would take to get them onboarded and started on developing the product. They wanted a solution that enabled them to:

  1. Sign up users for Clokka.
  2. Collect subscription payments from businesses interested in using Clokka to list watches.
  3. Save a user's "bookmarked" watches as well as the watches they've listed to sell.
  4. Limit access to certain functionality to registered users and place caps on usage based on their subscription tier.

"We had a vision, we just needed a service to help us figure out the technical details. With Midtype, we were able to execute without wasting weeks vetting and hiring the right backend developer for our app."

Chris Knight

Clokka had a great design team in place already—they had polished user flows and mockups ready to be built. Now, they just needed someone to help them build it.

The Solution

Clokka's lead designer, Christoffer Hallqvist, had a wealth of experience using Webflow to build out sites and animations. That enabled them to get the frontend for Clokka up and running extremely quickly.

Now, they just needed a backend that supported their core features and worked well with Webflow. Midtype provided an intuitive way to design the backend they needed and integrate it with Webflow.

"We were impressed by how much functionality we could add to our product with Midtype and some HTML. That means less infrastructure, and so much less code for us to manage and maintain going forward."

Chris Knight

1. Sign Up Users

Using simple HTML tags and the Midtype JS library, the Clokka team were able to add signup, login, and authentication to their app in minutes. With the Midtype UI, they were able to design the ideal data structure for their project, based on the information they wanted to save. This ensured all their users' data was in one place: watch listings, social media information, "favorited" watches, and more.

2. Collect Subscription Payments

With Midtype's built-in integration with Stripe, applying more HTML tags made it trivial for them to require customers to subscribe to payment plans before listing a watch. They were able to drop payment into their onboarding flow using the designs they had already implemented in Webflow.

3. Save Bookmarked Watches

Midtype's UI makes it easy to configure "relationships" between users and their data so that all of a user's information is accessible with a single request. This means features like "bookmarking" a watch takes minutes to enable in your Midtype backend.

By adding a few more HTML tags to the Webflow project, every instance of a watch on the app could be bookmarked by a logged-in user and displayed on their profile page.

4. Limit App Access to Registered Users

Midtype's powerful Javascript library makes it easy to make certain parts of an app only available to logged in or paying users. A couple lines of configuration code ensures that site visitors are redirected to a page of Clokka's choice if they're not logged in.

Learn more about the details of Clokka's Midtype implementation, including a step-by-step walkthrough, in an upcoming post on the Midtype blog.

Screenshots from the Clokka app.

Next Steps

When Clokka chose to invest in Midtype, it was a decision to help them achieve both their short and the long term goals. The Midtype JS library is powered by a scalable, PostgreSQL datastore and an extremely flexible GraphQL API. That means if they decide to migrate to a custom frontend solution, like building their app with React or VueJS, they can rest assured that Midtype will continue to work for them.

"What made Midtype the best choice for us was knowing that when we needed to scale, we had the flexibility do so without having to migrate off their platform. All our users, all our data and payments infrastructure would be just as easy to use with a custom frontend on React as it was with Webflow."

Chris Knight

This long-term viability was what made Midtype the most appealing option for Clokka's business.