Rainforest QA rakes in $25 million Series B to expand on-demand software testing biz

Rainforest QA, an on-demand software QA service, announced a $25 million Series B investment today.

Silicon Valley Bank, Bessemer Venture Partners, Sutter Hill Capital, Rincon Ventures and Initialized Capital all participated in the round. Today’s investment brings the total raised to over $42 million, according to the company.

The startup, which got its start in the Summer 2012 Y Combinator class, provides extremely rapid software QA by putting a bunch of bodies on the problem, using algorithms to manage the process. Instead of having one QA person work on 100 tests, they have a hundred testers take care of the 100 tests, then report back any problems they found to the client.

For customers, who are working with rapid development and continuous delivery, having a QA service that can provide quick turnarounds could be extremely valuable.

The company has about 60,000 active testers per month and approximately 2000-4000 online at any given time. Testers have to go through a period of training. If they get through that, they get an evaluation and begin establishing a reputation score, CEO Fred Stevens-Smith explained.

“That reputation score is the core of everything. It determines what work they get allocated. Higher ranked testers get access to higher paying, more complex jobs,” he said.

From a customer perspective, they connect their software to the Rainforest QA platform via an API. Developers can signal when they need testing. It gets assigned and all feedback is delivered through the platform without the high cost associated with maintaining a testing team, Daria Mehra, director of quality engineering at Rainforest customer Quid explained.

“Rainforest QA is replacing custom automation that would require team of highly skilled QA engineers writing a lot of code. What you get is bunch of code that you have to maintain, code that even the best engineers run into problems with,” she explained.

The Rainforest QA report gives a green check if the code is ready for production and a red check if there is an issue that needs to be resolved first. The company, which was founded in 2012, currently has 200 customers and they hope to use the money to begin to scale this idea further, according to Stevens-Smith.

“We closed the round in late December 2017 and are using it to accelerate sales and marketing and further expand our platform so development teams can assure the best possible user experience at the speed of continuous delivery,” he said.