The German startup has just raised €2.1 million in Series A funding with a view to extending its app-‘crowdtesting’ services to smaller companies and developers and expanding further across Europe.
Crowdtesting’, which basically means applying the crowdsourcing approach to the testing of apps at trial stage, is a way for a company to get its software applications and prototypes checked out online by a large number of testers. This approach has been enjoying great success, as it means the firm can run a new mobile app past a large consumer population, garnering opinions at relatively low cost and often of higher quality than traditional testing techniques. Munich-based startup Testbirds provides a platform for companies to outsource their app testing to its European network of testers. The German startup has just closed a €2.1 million Series A funding round led by venture capital fund managers Seventure Partners and has now geared up to extend its reach further across Europe with the launch last week of a free Android distribution app. The app, named BirdFlight, is intended to take advantage of the impending withdrawal of popular crowdtesting app TestFlight from the Android platform, following its acquisition by Apple. Testbirds is also planning to bring out a stripped-down ‘self-service’ version soon.
A vast network of testers in Europe
Testbirds has a network of more than 25,000 testers signed up to its current crowd-based testing platform, most of them based in Europe. They provide their services to help locate bugs in companies’ apps and also give their valuable opinions on such aspects as the user interface. There are more than 35,000 devices in the Testbirds network able to run checks on native mobile or web apps, while all mobile OS platforms can be covered by the network. The testers are paid per project, if they receive, accept and fulfil an invitation to do a test. They can also be paid extra the more bugs they find. Testbirds currently has around 150 clients, including such majors as BMW, Audi and Red Bull plus several large media, banking and insurance companies. The startup has four offices in Europe with a total staff of 30. In addition to its core app testing service, Testbirds also provides summaries of the test results for clients, and offers additional consultancy services – making recommendations for improving the usability of the apps being vetted – plus project management services.
Targeting smaller companies and developers
Testbirds is now preparing to launch a self-service version of its offering in the coming weeks. This new service will not include the project management and consultancy layer so as to make it more affordable to smaller companies and app developers. Today 70%-80% of the company’s clients are based in Germany. In addition to financing additional options and service levels, the latest funding it has received will help it to expand across Europe. Mobile app crowdtestingin the United States is dominated by Applause (formerly known as uTest) which raised $43 million in a Series E funding round back in January. The US test platform provider is a powerful player and is thought to have ambitions to muscle into the European market. However Testbirds is already established there and has a broad tester community and a solid, if limited, client base. So further down the road Applause might perhaps be looking to acquire Testbirds as a way to acquire market share and fulfil its goals in Europe.