“The time it takes engineers to do the coding work when developing software has got so much quicker over the past 10 years, thanks to all sorts of advances, but the pace of testing has barely changed,” says Rukmangada Kandyala, the founder and CEO of Testsigma. “Testing takes as much time and effort as it ever did,” says Kandyala of the need for his company, which is today announcing a $4.6m seed funding round.
The company’s pitch is deceptively simple. Developers building apps, tools and software have to test their products before releasing them to the market or using them themselves, or they risk inflicting teething problems on users, damaging their relationships. However, they should be able to automate the testing process to a far greater extent than has previously been possible, argues Kandyala, in order to reduce the time that it takes to get to a finished product.
“We are trying to simplify testing for developers and their testing teams,” he explains. “We want to make it a sustainable and scalable process in which the tools don’t require ongoing maintenance.”
Testsigma has therefore built an open-source test automation platform. Developers who subscribe to the platform can then use it as building block for their testing work, tweaking the platform’s set up according to what they want to test. Each time they complete a customisation in this way, they post it on the platform – eventually, there will be so many of these add-ons in Testsigma’s library that developers will have to do very little customisation of their own – they’ll simply plug in the relevant add-on.
The solution is attractive because it bridges a clear gap in the testing marketplace. Most of the tools currently available are complex to set up and maintain, requiring significant technical expertise; a minority are simpler, but these often have very limited use cases.
Testsigma’s pitch is that its platform is both simple and scalable. That is, it claims, developers will find it straightforward to use, and useful across all of the software they develop. “We are freeing up development teams to focus on value delivery instead of building and maintaining scripts and frameworks,” Kandyala adds.
It is an idea that appears to resonate with customers, including a number of very large enterprises. Testsigma was founded in 2019, though it spent an extended period in beta testing, and has seen client numbers grow rapidly. Revenue growth exceeded 300% last year – the company’s big-name customers include Sage, HPE, Netgear, HDFC Life, IEEE, SignEasy, the American Psychological Association and Mehiläinen, though Kandyala points out that it is aimed at enterprises of all shapes and sizes.
In which case, there is plenty of market to go at. The global test automation market is estimated to be growing at 20% a year and is on target to be worth $50bn by 2025. Today, more than 80% of the companies are building their custom test automation stacks from scratch, according to a World Quality Report, but two-thirds of these businesses say they are looking for smart testing solutions to speed up their releases.
Kandyala believes this is exactly what his business can deliver. Testsigma estimates that testing using its platform is five times’ faster than conventional approaches – and that this is shortening the delivery process by as much as 30%. With software developers increasingly speeding up their release cycles, such gains could prove invaluable.
Such potential has caught investors’ attention. In fact, Testsigma has been profitable since day one and has so far developed entirely organically. Now, however, Kandyala is keen to accelerate – he has ambitious plans to add 30 new engineers to the current 45-strong workforce, and also wants to develop the community it supports. “Testing is a complex and dynamic problem, so want to build out our platform in collaboration with customers,” he explains.
Today’s funding announcement should help with those aims. Testsigma’s $4.6m fundraise is led by Accel and STRIVE, with participation from BoldCap and a number of leading entrepreneurs and operators.
Accel is convinced of the business’s potential. “Test automation is a problem faced by every organisation, more so these days when release cycles are getting shorter,” says partner Abhinav Chaturvedi. “We are very excited to partner with Testsigma – it is an incredibly comprehensive, easy-to-use test automation platform that caters to every testing requirement of an organisation.”