Yesterday, at the MobileBeat Conference in San Francisco, Google Ventures Managing Partner and Co-founder of Android Rich Miner announced that Crittercism, a startup that provides support infrastructure for mobile apps, had raised an undisclosed seed funding round from Google Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, Opus Capital, Shasta Ventures, and AOL Ventures, among others. GigaOM was the first to report on the startup’s mystery raise, but we’ve since learned from sources close to the deal what the actual amount was: $1.2 million.
Our sources also indicated that those leading the charge were Ellen Pao at Kleiner Perkins, Wesley Chan at Google Ventures, Bob Borchers of Opus Capital, who was part of the original iPhone team and is former director of worldwide marketing for the iPhone, Rob Coneybeer at Shasta Ventures (who also invested in Gowalla), and Adam Smith at AOL Ventures. Early Facebook engineer Lucas Nealson also participated.
While $1.2 million may not seem like a deal-size that is cause for a big fuss, considering EA’s $650 million acquisition of PopCap and Jawbone’s $70 million round yesterday, we’re hearing that the deal was pretty competitive and Crittercism had to turn investors away to make room in this round.
The impressive list of investors, combined with the fact that more money and investors may have been on the table — not to mention research2guidance’s recent report that the mobile application development services market is projected to grow to $100 billion by 2015 — seem to be confirmation of the serious growth happening (and coming to) mobile app development, and the potential of startups like Crittercism that provide support systems for these app developers.
For this, his second startup, Co-founder and CEO Andrew Levy joined the AngelPad accelerator program, raising this round shortly after the incubator’s demo day in March.
As to Crittercism itself, the startup has built a platform that enables developers to diagnose mobile app crashes and to easily provide customer support to an app’s users. Crittercism’s iOS library (previously in beta) was yesterday made available to all mobile app developers and has also made its Android SDK available for limited release.
While most of the growth in the mobile apps space has been among startups offering tools for speedy or custom development, there is ample room for those providing customer support and services that help developers diagnose and solve mobile app crashes and outages. Troubleshooting errors and customer support is an extremely important part of customer satisfaction and engagement, but it also eats up time and resources for developers.
The startup’s solution, then, provides businesses with a library that can be added to any app and connects to a SaaS platform that monitors those apps. The solution prioritizes the most nefarious bugs as they occur, while gathering diagnostic data on hardware and software, so that developers can see what was happening on the device when it crashed.
And, perhaps most importantly, developers are able to notify users when an issue has been fixed and can “specifically target users that ceased to use the application as a result of a crash or bug in the software”, according to Crittercism’s release. This feature may prove to be very important for user retention, a problem that has long beset app developers, as users often download an app once, use it a few times until a bug is spotted before dropping it.
For more, check out Crittercism’s home page here and let us know what you think.