uTest, the in-the-wild app testing leader, today announced it has closed a $43 Million Series E round of funding, led by Goldman Sachs. The funding comes ahead of the company’s previously announced plans to expand its offering and change its name to Applause, and brings its funding-to-date to more than $80 Million.
As the company rolls out its expanded Applause vision in the coming months, it will use this funding to:
- Expand in-the-wild testing services. The company will invest heavily in its real-world software testing services, including significant commitments to further advancing its functional, usability, security, load and localization testing solutions.
- Bring 360° app quality to brands around the world, ushering in a new era of App Quality Management. Applause will include a suite of tools and analytics related to holistic app quality. This combined solution will enable a company’s stakeholders – including developers, QA, product, marketers and CEOs – to better understand users’ wants and experiences, and to use that information to create apps that win.
- Grow distribution channels. The company is deep in talks with strategic partners to bring 360⁰ app quality into the offerings of the application lifecycle management (ALM) leaders. International expansion is planned through a recently announced reseller program – particularly in the EU and Asia-Pacific markets.
- Broaden uTest. In addition to the larger Applause offering, the company will leverage the uTest brand as an open community that caters to testers and advances the profession of software testing. The uTest offering will expand beyond paid projects to include training, certifications, test tool reviews, career advice, job boards and events.
“In-the-wild testing has become a critical part of launching great digital experiences – from apps for web, mobile, wearables and beyond. Funding on this scale, and from a leader like Goldman Sachs, will help us broaden these services, and incorporate tools that enable companies to achieve 360° app quality,” said uTest CEO, Doron Reuveni. “We’re positioned for a massive market opportunity, and to extend our lead as the one-stop solution for modern app quality.”
The round had full participation from all of uTest’s previous investors, including QuestMark Partners, Scale Venture Partners, Longworth Venture Partners, Mass Ventures, Egan-Managed Capital and Mesco Ltd. The company’s previous round of funding was a $17 Million Series D round in December 2011. As part of the Series E investment, David Campbell, Goldman Sachs’ Managing Director, Merchant Banking Division will join the uTest Board of Directors.
“Today, customer-facing applications have become critically important for most businesses. And app quality is a key differentiator between winners and losers in this era of the always-connected, on-the-go, highly vocal user,” added Campbell. “When you consider the complexity of creating truly great applications, uTest is uniquely positioned to help its customers win, and to build a large, lasting company in the process.”
Today’s news comes as companies are recognizing the full importance of App Quality Management. And as the apps economy grows ever-faster, these digital experiences have become the front door to brands, to the companies behind them, and to their top-line results. At the same time, the rise in social media and app store reviews has given users a larger voice than ever before. These user signals now play a significant role in defining app quality and are increasingly utilized by companies. Research firm IDC’s Peter Marston stated the value of these signals in 2013:
“Use of outside signals in application life-cycle development is an effective, increasingly holistic way to gather a fuller spectrum of data that help application vendors, in turn, be more strategic in how they build or enhance their applications, as well as help foster stronger user adoption upon an application’s release.”
Headquartered near Boston, uTest has seen consistent success and sharp growth since launching in August of 2008. Company milestones include:
- Establishing a presence in Silicon Valley, Seattle, New York, Los Angeles and Dallas – with resellers serving dozens of international markets
- Testing more than 30,000 new builds for 2,000 companies of all sizes – including Google, Microsoft, Amazon, USA Today, Rolex, Box and Runkeeper
- Growing its global community of professional testers to more than 100,000
- The acquisition of mobile SDK, Apphance in 2012
- The launch of Applause Analytics in 2013
- Numerous awards, including recent wins from the American Business Awards, Gartner, Forbes and Inc.