App testing firm Applause has raised a fresh $35 million round led by Credit Suisse’s Direct Equity Partners, with participation from Accenture and previous investors, including Goldman Sachs’ Merchant Banking Division, QuestMark Partners, Scale Venture Partners, Longworth Venture Partners, Mesco Ltd, and MassVentures.
Previously known as uTest, before a rebrand back in 2014, Applause has developed a form of app testing that side-steps contrived laboratory settings and taps thousands of real-world users from around the globe, garnering useful feedback in the process. It’s less about early-stage testing than it is about focusing on the post-launch phase of an app, helping developers combat bugs, improve design, and tackle any potential problem before it escalates. The company claims some big-name clients, including Google, Microsoft, BMW, Fox, and Runkeeper.
Founded in 2007, the Massachusetts-based company had raised around $80 million before this latest announcement, with its previous $43 million Series E round taking place in early 2014. The fresh cash influx will be used to expand its digital testing services, as it invests in everything from web and mobile to wearables and the Internet of Things (IoT). The company says it will also grow its usability feedback service, as well as launching a new digital research offering to identify what end-users want in advance — something it has been carrying out for brands on an informal basis for the past year. It’s expected this will launch as an official service in the coming months.
“Digital experiences — from web to mobile to IoT to brick-and-mortar — are the epicenter of competition in many industries, including retail, restaurants, travel, banking, insurance, and manufacturing,” said Applause CEO Doron Reuveni. “Late-stage funding from leaders like Credit Suisse and Accenture enables us to double down on expanding our solutions.”
As part of its strategic investment, Accenture is also forming an alliance with Applause, one that allows Accenture to sell Applause’s crowdtesting services to any of its own clients.