Smartphones have become our primary tool for interacting with society at large. From calling an Uber to having food delivered to your doorstep through Instacart, smartphones are an integral part of how people today live their lives. However, when bugs in these device’s apps appear, the seamless access to goods, services, work, and entertainment starts to break down.
Sometimes these bugs can be so infuriating, the device owner shakes their phone out of frustration. Omar Gabr and Moataz Soliman have observed the experience-degrading nature of these smartphone bugs and launched Instabug as a remedy. Instabug is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) startup providing mobile developers with in-app feedback and in-depth bug reporting.
The San Francisco-based startup has raised $5M Series A, having Accel leading the round, with participation from angel investors such as Amr Awadallah, cofounder of Cloudera, and Jim Payne, founder and CEO of MoPub. The company also participated in Y Combinator’s Winter 2016 batch.
Through smartphones, individuals mediate their engagement and interaction with the outside world. Given the necessity for pleasant, streamline user experiences, the need to quickly detect and resolve unforeseen bugs is paramount. By not catching and rapidly fixing these bugs, users will soon get unhappy, uninstall the app, and leave a negative review on either the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.
These user-generated reviews play a primary role in how each operating service ranks the best apps to use for a given category. Therefore, mobile app developers, even after releasing their app for public use, must be ready to resolve live bugs that they did not anticipate in prior testing. The difference between a bug-free app and one riddled with issues could be on the order of millions of dollars in generated revenues.
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“We’ve been working with Accel since 2016 and we’re very excited to continue our partnership. We grew 120% in revenues in the last 12 months, adding dozens of Enterprise customers. We’ve always been running a disciplined business, we’re almost profitable for some time now. This is what made our fundraising fast in the middle of all the current events. Our fundraising conversations with Accel started after the outbreak,” states Instabug CEO Gabr.
TechCrunch reported that the global app revenues were $39.7 billion in the first half of 2019. The total revenue would be $79.4 billion for 2019, using an annual run rate metric. Assuming that there will be higher smartphone usage per person and penetration per country, these revenues will only continue to grow in 2020 and beyond. The demand for bug-free experiences is reflected in consumer spending via these apps. Thus, companies like Instabug will continue to command a premium for their services in helping identify and resolve bugs expeditiously.
Gabr adds, “Since the COVID-19 outbreak, Instabug has seen a massive surge in usage, usage grew 45% since this January. With more people spending their time at home, there’s more app downloads and more app usage. Also, Instabug is designed to streamline the communication between QA and developers which is very relevant now since all is working remotely.”