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Yet another SaaS startup, which began its journey in India, has attained the much-coveted unicorn status. BrowserStack, a startup that operates a giant software testing platform, said on Wednesday it has raised $200 million in a new financing round that valued the 10-year-old firm at $4 billion.
BOND led the Dublin and San Francisco-headquartered startup’s Series B financing round, while Insight Partners and existing investor Accel participated in it. BrowserStack, which for the first six years of its journey didn’t raise any money and remains profitable, has raised $250 million to date.
As companies move to rapid development cycles they often don’t have the time to perform adequate testing. For instance, say Google is working to launch a new mobile app. The search giant will want to test the new app on thousands — if not tens of thousands — of different mobile devices.
At present, even a company the size of Google will find it cumbersome to secure, store and maintain all those test devices. That’s where BrowserStack comes into play.
The startup has 15 data centers across the world and a repository of over 2,000 devices. BrowserStack, which began its journey in Mumbai, licenses its service to firms to let them remotely test their apps and websites on its devices, explained Nakul Aggarwal, co-founder and CTO of BrowserStack, in an interview with TechCrunch.
For SaaS startups, differentiation is an iterative process
“Our mission has always been to help engineers build amazing products for their customers. Whenever they are developing an app or a website they have to ensure that it works across the fragmented ecosystem,” said Aggarwal, referring to various kinds of mobile devices, tablets, TVs, wearables and other platforms. “We are ensuring that engineers don’t have to worry about building their own in-house labs for devices.”
Google is not a hypothetical example. The Android-maker along with giants including Amazon, Microsoft, Twitter, Tesco, Ikea, Spotify, Expedia and Trivago are among over 50,000 customers of BrowserStack. Over 60% of BrowserStack’s customers today are in the U.S.
BrowserStack founders Nakul Aggarwal and Ritesh Arora (Image: BrowserStack)
“As software continues to rewire everything, the bar on speed and quality continues to rise, and testing software across the expanding number of browsers and devices is a huge and expensive challenge for development teams to manage on their own,” said Jay Simons, general partner at BOND, in a statement.
“BrowserStack makes this simple and cost-effective, giving developers instant access to the widest range of browser and device configurations to test their applications. This product is an absolute boon for today’s web and app developers.”
It wasn’t until early 2018 when BrowserStack, which bootstrapped its way to profitability, first raised capital from an investor. Aggarwal said the founding team’s previous failed ventures made them more disciplined about money and it wasn’t until BrowserStack had assumed the market-leading position and began scaling to new markets that it started to explore outside capital.
Aggarwal said BrowserStack wants to become the testing infrastructure of the internet and the new funds will help achieve that. “Every pull request that is getting raise, we want to become the infrastructure where it is getting tested,” he said. The startup, which recently acquired visual testing and review platform Percy, is open to more acquisition and acquihire opportunities.
Messaging platform Gupshup raises $100 million at $1.4 billion valuation
“Our recent acquisition of Percy, a visual testing platform, was just the start. We will accelerate the rate at which we take new products to market through acquisitions and investment in our Product and Engineering teams. We want to achieve our vision of becoming the testing infrastructure for the internet,” said Ritesh Arora, co-founder and chief executive of BrowserStack.
BrowserStack joins a number of SaaS startups — including Chargebee and Gupshup — that began their journey in India and became a unicorn this year.
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