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BrowserStack, a website testing platform for developer operations (DevOps) teams, has raised $200 million in a series B round.

The funding, which gives the company a valuation of $4 billion, comes as businesses across every sector have had to embrace digital transformation due to the global pandemic. This has created the need for more tools to test software and accelerate the rate at which features go to market, with the cloud playing an integral role in the process.

“Enterprises today need to release software with speed and quality to remain competitive,” BrowserStack cofounder and CEO Ritesh Arora told VentureBeat. “We replace the need for teams to own and manage an in-house test infrastructure. This means development teams can focus on building quality software at speed, rather than maintaining an in-house testing infrastructure that is complex to build and impossible to scale.”

How it works

Founded in 2011, BrowserStack helps developer and quality assurance (QA) teams test their software on thousands of device, browser, and operating system combinations to identify any bugs — both manually and automatically. The company, which has amassed an impressive roster of customers, including Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, and Spotify, says it has 15 datacenters around the world, ensuring developers benefit from minimal latency wherever they are.

The crux of the issue is this: A website might work fine on the latest version of Chrome installed on Samsung’s most recent Android flagship, but what about on Firefox on an old version of Windows? All the potential hardware and software configurations make it difficult for developers and testers to check that their software will work well for all users. This is where BrowserStack’s cloud-based testing platform comes into play, with automated Selenium testing for desktop and mobile browsers.

Above: BrowserStack

For companies looking to test prototype or other work-in-progress web and mobile apps away from the public stage, BrowserStack also supports testing in local development environments.

“We support every development and testing environment used by developers,” Arora said. “Local testing allows developers to test applications hosted behind firewalls by creating a secure tunnel between the developer’s environment and BrowserStack’s platform”

On the enterprise side, BrowserStack offers advanced administrative controls, single sign-on support for user authentication, and data governance via network controls. On top of this, BrowserStack offers fairly deep analytics, which can be used to evaluate the performance of software testing automation, for example, while businesses can dig down into metrics around build times and coverage to ensure they’re testing for the right device/browser combinations.

Above: BrowserStack: Usage analytics

Testing times

The broader software testing market was estimated to be worth nearly $46 billion last year, a figure that’s set to more than double within six years.

BrowserStack raised $50 million in its series A round of funding more than three years ago, and its latest cash injection was spearheaded by Bond, with participation from Insight Partners and Accel. Elsewhere, BrowserStack rival LambdaTest secured $16 million in funding earlier this month, a few months after another notable competitor called Sauce Labs upped its investment from asset firm TPG.

So what is driving demand for these platforms? It seems the pandemic has left an indelible mark on just about every company and industry, and BrowserStack and its cloud-based competitors are no different.

“COVID has forced every single organization globally to look at work-from-home and remote working options,” Arora said. “This led to a large number of companies looking at cloud solutions to replace their on-premise infrastructure. COVID has also led to the acceleration of digital transformation across sectors, as companies look for ways to scale and increase velocity without relying on their in-house systems.”

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