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Embrace.io has raised $2.5 million so it can tell developers how their apps are performing, how fast they load, and whether they work properly.
Eniac Ventures led the round, with additional investments from The Chernin Group, Techstars Ventures, and BoxGroup. Embrace.io is releasing its platform to developers in a limited release today. The idea is to help developers diagnose the issues that disrupt mobile users’ experiences before they permanently leave the app, said Embrace.io CEO Eric Futoran, in an interview with VentureBeat.
Futoran was formerly a cofounder of mobile game company Scopely. His full team dealt with building and running mobile experiences and services, including Parse, MoPub, Burstly / Testflight, Walking Dead, Yahtzee, and Tinder. The platform was born out of a need to be more proactive in making users happy. Since its founding less than a year ago, Embrace.io has already grown to support trillions of mobile events from many of the world’s most popular apps.
Culver City, Calif.-based Embrace.io can do things like monitor exactly how long it takes for your app to load, which is important because mobile devices are so integrated into everyone’s daily lives. Any glitch or bad experience complicates day-to-day activities like making a purchase, ordering food, watching a video, or just opening an app.
“I knew a lot of people in the first generation of mobile, and in figuring out the next-generation tools for mobile, we knew where the pain points were,” Futoran said. “We want to give visibility to developers where they don’t have it.”
Currently, mobile developers are blind to these non-crash glitches that appear to users as freezes, abrupt closes, endless spinners, and frustratingly slow navigation. Even when a developer receives a complaint or is made aware of an issue, they cannot reproduce the poor experience. Most developers don’t even know how many users they’ve already lost to what is often a simple fix.
“As developers, we were always on wild goose chases when faced with an issue. There were no good tools for app performance and monitoring, so we were forced to use a combination of poorly suited analytics, crash reporting, and logging to figure things out. Frankly, it sucked,” said Futoran. ”We decided to build a unified platform that turns technical data from disparate devices into solutions that can be used to produce better performing apps, and let developers get back to coding.”
Starting today, developers can start tackling their biggest challenges, such as issues that appear to be crashes but are not, and reclaim time spent attempting to diagnose problems and understand poor performance. With Embrace.io, mobile teams gain visibility and access that allows them to reproduce the technical details for any user’s session.
When a purchase mechanism stops working, for instance, developers should learn about the issue immediately and can get to work fixing it.
“We found that 10 percent of app sessions have a suboptimal experience at startup,” Futoran said.
Cofounders include Fredric Newberg, the former chief technology officer of Kontagent (now Upsight), and Maggie Shih, who has been involved in several exits at Yahoo, Demand Media, and Criteo. Others include senior engineers from Google and the Symantec Android team.
“We’ve been closely tracking the meteoric rise of application performance management companies on the server side and were excited to find a deeply technical team focused on mobile performance management with the unique experience to truly solve one of the biggest pain points on mobile,” said Hadley Harris, founding general partner at Eniac Ventures, in a statement.
Among the investors are Walter Driver, cofounder and CEO of Scopely; Tikhon Bernstam, founder of Scribd and Parse; the founders of Burstly and Testflight, and executives from MoPub. The company has nine employees.
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