Goldman Sachs Lavishes Cash on Israeli Crowd-sourced Software Tester

Community of software testers the firm built numbers over 100,000 people in over 100 countries.

uTest, a crowdsource software-testing company founded by two Israelis in the United States, has raised the huge sum of $43 million from investment bank Goldman Sachs.

Software testing is just what it sounds like - one tests to make sure the software works properly. Writing code is one thing but writing it correctly is another.

The funding was based on a company value in the hundreds of millions of dollars. uTest’s revenues in 2013 exceeded $50 million.

The company, located in Framingham, Massachusetts, has raised $80 million from investors to date and has 200 employees. Among its customers are Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, Walmart, Marks & Spencer, and the BBC.

uTest plans to change its name to Applause, which is the name of the business intelligence platform it launched in early 2013. After recruiting 12 distribution partners in the past month, the company hopes to sign another 100 partners in countries around the world.

“Our intention is to grow our revenues and to float within two to three years," Doron Reuveni, co-founder, said.

The company also intends to make strategic acquisitions, perhaps of Israeli startups, he added. “We look at the entire world, but Israel is definitely our target market. We looked at many markets in the world where there is high-quality technology, and where mobile app-developer companies are sprouting up, and Israel is without a doubt a power in that field.”

uTest was founded in 2007 by Reuveni and Roy Solomon. The firm developed a software-testing model based on crowdsourced effort. The community of software testers built by the firm numbers over 100,000 people in over 100 countries, including close to 10,000 full-time testers.

In October 2008, the company completed its first round of investment, receiving $2.5 million from the American fund Insight Ventures and MassVentures (which was founded by the state of Massachusetts to fund early-stage technology companies located there).

Today uTest has offices in the United States, Israel and Poland. Of the company’s 200 employees, 30 are employed outside the U.S., evenly divided between Warsaw and a sales office in Herzliya. The Warsaw office serves as a development center at what was originally a Polish startup which uTest acquired in 2012; the Herlizya office opened in 2010.

AP