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uTest, the crowdsourcing software testing company announces today that it has just raised a massive $17 million of funding – one of the largest investments made in a company based on a crowdsourcing model. The Series D funding round was led by QuestMark Partners with full participation from all of uTest’s previous investors, including Scale Venture Partners, Longworth Venture Partners, Egan-Managed Capital and Mesco Ltd.
This latest round brings the company’s total funding to more than $37 million and uTest has seen its valuation more than double since its last round of funding in September of last year. Revenue has been increasing 250% year over year since 2008 and the customer base includes global brands such as Google, Microsoft, Groupon, AOL and the BBC as well as high-growth innovators like Trulia, Tapulous, Bump and Billguard.
The launch of usability, localization and security testing services in August of this year created the first end-to-end testing suite that spans the entire software development lifecycle. According to uTest CEO, Doron Reuveni, “The market’s adoption of uTest’s services has been amazing-- particularly among retailers, media companies, gaming firms and agencies.” He goes on to reveal that the latest round of funding means that uTest can help even more companies, developers and testers to launch apps that users love, saying “Given the ever-increasing demands by users that a company’s apps work flawlessly under real-world conditions, the opportunity before uTest is massive.”
With uTest in such a strong financial position the company raised this additional capital in order to scale faster and expand its offering. The new round of funding will be used to:
QuestMark Partner, Tim Krongard thinks that uTest is “perfectly positioned to help developers launch applications that will work as well in the wild as they do in the lab” and will be joining uTest’s Board of Directors. He goes on to say that “Social, local and mobile have created phenomenal growth opportunities in our economy. And today, every company is an app creator-- whether in retail, social, education or healthcare.”
At the close of uTest’s $13 million Series C funding last year, Sharon Wienbar, Managing Director
with Scale Venture Partners joined the uTest board. In a recent blog post she discusses the market trends that drive the need for in-the-wild testing, saying that “mobile is where complexity is hitting hardest (and represents the greatest opportunity for uTest).” Sharon has a strong commitment to both crowdsourced models and the apps testing market and demonstrates this in this video.
Crowdsourcing is here to stay
uTest’s latest D round follows some other big funding rounds for the crowdsourcing industry, back in April of this year, 99designs, a design crowdsourcing marketplace received $35 million in funding from Accel. Activity in the Crowdsourcing space is certainly getting hot! Just last week the crowdfunded journalism site Spot.Us was acquired by American Public Media with plans to integrate it into the organization’s Public Insight Network. With crowdfunding website IndieGoGo joining in a Whitehouse backed effort to boost small business growth in the US in April and Kickstarter crowdfunding now raising over $1m a week, crowdsourcing businesses are regularly making headlines. Crowdsourcing is here to stay and is starting to have a real impact on businesses across the globe.
With this latest deal, the Crowdsourcing industry has taken another step forward towards its goal of establishing Crowdsourcing as a mainstream model. Under the right circumstances, Crowdsourcing wins hands-down against traditional models that are bound by the ways that they can identify and deploy talent.
Boston based uTest (who currently have offices in Silicon Valley, London and Israel) was founded in 2007 by Doron Reuveni and Roy Solomon. The company is the world’s largest in-the-wild software testing services provider whose website is “intended to educate forward-thinking technology leaders about benefits of in-the-wild testing”. UTest launched with seed funding of $500k and now leverages a community of over 47,000 professional testers from 181 countries to help companies test their products under real world conditions. Thousands of companies from start-ups to global brands rely on uTest as a critical component of their QA processes for fast, reliable and cost-effective testing results. The company has its own YouTube channel and regularly uploads videos featuring some of its crowd of testers and users.
They raised three prior rounds of funding before this latest one and won the prestigious American Business Association’s Most Innovative Company Award in 2011 and have been named Best Place to Work by the Boston Business Journal two years running.
About QuestMark Partners
QuestMark Partners is an expansion-stage venture firm providing growth capital to exceptional management teams across the U.S. With over $750 million under management, QuestMark targets highly-differentiated, often category-creating companies with the commercial traction and strategic position to support long-term standalone success. Since its founding in 1998, QuestMark's collaborative, insightful, and patient approach to company building has helped many entrepreneurial teams grow and succeed as market leaders across a range of industries.