Bitbar, the startup behind cloud-based mobile app testing platform Testdroid, has announced that it has closed a $3 million funding round. The round was led by Creathor Venture, DFJ Esprit, Finnvera Venture Capital, and, interestingly, mobile chipmaker Qualcomm via its venture arm, Qualcomm Ventures. Finland’s TEKES financing also participated.
The new funds will be used by the Finnish company to expand its mobile developer tools beyond Android, iOS and HTML5, as well as “beyond just testing”, though it isn’t elaborating any further for now. The company had previously raised an undisclosed seed round from unnamed angels and Finnvera Venture Capital.
Bitbar provides a range of mobile software development and testing solutions based on open standards aimed at app developers and enterprises to make it easier to ensure that their mobile apps work properly on the devices that they are targeting. Its flagship product is the cloud-based Android testing solution, Testdroid Cloud, which offers automated and real-time testing for mobile application developers via hosting and providing access to over 200 Android-powered smartphones and other devices.
As the Android ecosystem is becoming increasingly fragmented, along with the proliferation of competing mobile platforms overall, app compatibility and testing is a big headache for developers. Getting an app to run smoothly across various configurations is both costly and time-consuming, requiring many hours of manual testing as part of the QA process — presuming, of course, that you have access to each and every device and OS version being targeted. And that’s the killer. Offering access to a multitude of devices via the cloud, provided as a service and supported by automated tools and scripting, is obviously a far more efficient way of going about it.
To that end, along with Testdroid Cloud, Bitbar offers Testdroid Recorder to automatically generate standards-based test scripts and Testdroid Server for companies to build in-house test labs.
Its customer list includes Ancestry.com, BMW, Critical Path, eBay (US and UK), Evernote, Facebook, Flipboard, Google, LivingSocial, Lookout, PayPal, Pinterest, Saffron Digital, SoundCloud, Swiftkey, Tesco, The Weather Channel, Top Free Games and Wooga.
Competitors to Bitbar include TestOject, and testCloud. The latter takes a slightly different approach to multi-device testing by employing the crowd instead of automation. Similarly, U.S.-based uTest also takes a manual approach with its crowd of 60,000 ‘professional’ testers, as does Bangalore’s 99tests.