UTest Adds $43M for App Testing, Gets Ready for Future as Applause

Some Boston-area tech startups are no longer startups. Take uTest, the Framingham, MA-based software company that just closed $43 million in Series E funding led by Goldman Sachs.

The new money brings uTest’s total raised to about $80 million. Its previous investors include QuestMark Partners, Scale Venture Partners, Longworth Venture Partners, Mass Ventures, and Egan-Managed Capital.

UTest got started in 2007 with the idea of crowdsourcing the quality assurance (QA) process for software developers. Business started to pick up in 2009-10, with the rise of mobile and social apps; big customers like Google, Microsoft, Intuit, and Thomson Reuters had come on board.

By 2011, uTest was seeing a lot of interest in its mobile-app testing service, and it raised a $17 million Series D round. The company’s revenues increased from $8.6 million in 2011 to $20 million in 2012, according to the Boston Business Journal.

Today’s funding news marks the start of a new phase for uTest. The company has some 2,000 customers and has grown its app-testing community to 100,000-plus around the world. It has satellite offices in Silicon Valley, Seattle, New York, Los Angeles, and Dallas. In a statement, uTest CEO Doron Reuveni says the company’s goal is to be “the one-stop solution for modern app quality” for “Web, mobile, wearables and beyond.”

Sounds ambitious. UTest is also changing its name soon, to Applause. The new name comes from the mobile-app analytics software the company rolled out a year ago, which analyzes reviews in app stores so developers can see what users are saying about their apps (and competitors’ apps).

The name change reminds me of uLocate, another Boston-area startup, changing its name to Where back in 2010. And the app-testing and developer-tools aspect of uTest reminds me of mobile startup Crashlytics, which, unlike uTest, took famously little outside funding before earning a big payday. Yup, both Where and Crashlytics were acquired for well over $100 million (by PayPal and Twitter, respectively). Is that what the future holds for Applause as well?

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