SOASTA®, Inc., an innovator in the emerging and important field of cloud-based performance and load testing, announced it has secured $12 million in funding. The press release detailing the completion of this round identified The Entrepreneurs' Fund as the lead, with participation from prior investors Canaan Partners, Formative Ventures, and Pelion Venture Partners. Proceeds will be used to:
- Accelerate international expansion
- Fund initiatives in web and specifically mobile testing
According to the company, the SOASTA’s CloudTest Platform is, “the world’s largest platform for testing the performance of web and mobile applications at scale.” First introduced in 2008, the company has enhanced the platform’s testing speed, scale and affordability. This includes the recent expansion that enables software developers and non-programmers to build and execute complex functional tests.
Speaking on behalf of the investors, Jeff Webber, Managing Director of The Entrepreneurs’ Fund stated, “For companies today with a web or mobile presence, the stakes are high and the applications are far more difficult to test…As the landscape for testing solutions necessarily evolves to support shorter release cycles, new technologies, more complex architectures and unpredictable consumer demand from a wide range of devices, SOASTA (News - Alert) is well positioned to be the category winner. By consistently innovating in ways that leverage the cloud and the new service economy, SOASTA is gaining share in a market dominated by traditional testing giants.”
The timeline for company milestones achieved in 2011 is as follows:
- The customer base topped 3,000, including six of the top 10 retailers and well-known leaders in the financial services, media, telecommunications, consumer packaged goods, and technology industries.
- SOASTA’s Global Test Cloud expanded to support loads from the U.S., Canada, China, UK, Germany, Amsterdam, Ireland, Dubai, Switzerland, Australia, Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong.
- The first free edition in 2011 of CloudTest Lite was delivered which offers functional testing and performance testing for up to 100 virtual users at no cost.
- A patent was granted on CloudTest’s innovative visual test creation environment.
- SOASTA was named one of the “Top 50 Venture-Backed Companies” by The Wall Street Journal, one of the OnDemand top 100 emerging Internet companies by AlwaysOn, and one of the "10 Emerging Cloud Vendors You Need to Know" by CRN.
This is a list that certainly encouraged further investment as cited above. And, Tom Lounibos (News - Alert), SOASTA CEO, was proud of how fast and how far his company has come saying, “SOASTA created the Cloud Testing category in 2008, introduced the first global test cloud in 2010 and we continue to lead the field in terms of innovation and customers.” He added that, “With major business increasingly conducted across the web and mobile Internet, the performance and reliability of consumer-facing websites and mobile applications matters today more than ever to companies. With this new round of funding we will continue to provide industry leading testing solutions, ensuring that our customers can adequately test their applications and deliver the highest possible quality and performance to their consumers.”
The growth and maturation of any industry ultimately comes back to its ability to validate claims and deliver on promises. While testing, especially performance testing, tends to be a relatively ignored part of our industry on occasion, the explosion of cloud services and mobile apps with the accompanying rise in user expectations concerning having quality experiences is going to put a premium on services getting it right and keeping it right. In other words, having the tools necessary to visualize performance and a set of comprehensive analytics is a non-trivial piece for enabling overall market growth.
This will be particularly critical as users of nomadic devices of all types load up on things like video conferencing, interactive games and streamed video. We keep hearing from all parts of the parts of the ICT extended ecosystems as well as the OTTs and developers who use their services and products that quality of experience (QoE) is going to in large measure (obviously price will be a significant part as well) in determining winners and losers. This means that being able to measure performance and to spot and react quickly to negative changes in status will be enormously important.
Clearly this is a space to watch, and with $12 million to invest, SOASTA is a company to keep an eye on. Peter Bernstein is a technology industry veteran, having worked in multiple capacities with several of the industry's biggest brands, including Avaya, Alcatel-Lucent, Telcordia, HP, Siemens (News - Alert), Nortel, France Telecom, and others, and having served on the Advisory Boards of 15 technology startups. To read more of Peter's work, please visit his columnist page.