San Francisco-based startup Appurify is announcing its $4.5 million Series A round today, funding which will help the company continue to build out its exhaustive and extensive app testing platform, and to expand its sales and marketing teams to help spread the word among mobile developers. Appurify automates the process of wide-scale testing, allowing developers to see how their devices behave on a huge range of gadgets, instead of just on the smaller pool they might be able to get by seeding their beta to friends and contacts.
This is a remarkably different approach from that taken by a company like TestFairy, which I covered earlier today. Where TestFairy is looking at gathering data from a limited number of real world users, Appurify is trying to tackle testing from the perspective of using a battery of lab-controlled tests to throw as much information as possible at the problem. It’s a way to get around fragmentation issues that cost many Android developers users and reviews, and it also helps mobile software encounter a huge range of network conditions, situations and eventualities that would be hard to replicate with traditional testing through simulation, so that apps can be ready to handle any hiccup.
The core team behind the app met at Zynga, where they saw a “massive need” for mobile developer tools according to co-founder and CEO Jay Srinivasan. The CTO, head of engineering and Srinivasan then left Zynga around a year ago to construct essentially a SaaS platform for automated testing and debugging of mobile apps, supported by a cloud of mobile devices with a unifying infrastructure layer controlling their operation and gathering feedback from the tests they run.
“We’re operating against a few principals,” he explained. “One is we don’t think manual is even remotely scalable for mobile both in terms of just number of devices, network conditions, operating conditions etc. Manual testing can’t keep up.”
Srinivasan also said that just like happened with the PC market a few years ago, it doesn’t make sense for any one company to go buy every device out there, so there’s a need to outsource a cloud of devices you can use on demand like AWS. Finally, the company says that it’s one thing to provide this level of access, but another to derive actionable insight from it. Appurify delivers detailed, action-oriented reports and feedback to make sure the data it gathers is actually of value to its customers.
There’s little question that this is a problem that needs addressing, and Appurify’s approach is in some ways one that’s more complimentary to than collaborative with the kind of testing conducted by TestFlight, TestFairy and others. Really, Appurify’s approach can be compared to bringing a shotgun to target practice, but the level of control afforded by its software layer in terms of tweaking variables like network connection and location information means it’s actually far more targeted, as well.