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Buddybuild, a startup with a cloud service for building, testing, deploying, and getting feedback on mobile apps, today announced that it has raised a $1.2 million round of funding. Also today, the startup is announcing that it can now support Android apps, not just iOS apps.
Rather than provide just one service to speed up mobile app development, Buddybuild provides a whole bunch of things: continuous integration, continuous delivery, testing, deploying for beta testers (even without tools like Apple’s TestFlight), analytics, crash reporting, and, perhaps most interestingly, a way to have users send feedback on builds with annotated screenshots.
One might think companies would move off the service after their applications have been successfully deployed, but early evidence has shown otherwise. “Inevitably those people end up building other apps” and then use Buddybuild again, founder and chief executive Dennis Pilarinos told VentureBeat in an interview.
The funding of the startup suggests that there may yet be hope for mobile app development toolsets, even though businesses have picked up traction in many of the individual areas where Buddybuild can help.
“You need these things strung together in a seamless solution so you don’t have to string together all those things yourself, manage it, and maintain it,” said Pilarinos, who spent eight years in leadership roles at Microsoft and more recently was engineering manager working on the Silk browser at Amazon.
Buddybuild started last year and is based in the Canadian city of Vancouver, B.C., with nine employees. Around 1,000 companies are using the service for around 1,600 applications after a soft launch in October. Companies that have used Buddybuild include CarFax, Meetup, Intuit, PwC, and Yummly.
Investors include Amplify Partners, Bloomberg Beta, First Round Capital, Steve Garrity, Mike Vernal, Douglas Purdy, Dave Johnson, and Debbie Landa. Slack cofounder and chief executive Stewart Butterfield is an advisor.
Currently the Buddybuild service is free. Pricing will be announced in the second quarter of this year.
Named for the old practice at Microsoft of having a buddy build new Windows code before it gets submitted into the main repository, Buddybuild doesn’t yet offer services for hosting backends of mobile apps, like databases, but it’s possible that could be added in the future, Pilarinos said.
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