Growing up with Testbirds: from start-up to scale-up
The Testbirds story is a classic startup dream come true
€7 million is a lot of money. It is the amount of money we were able to secure as a new investment this June. Having secured our fourth round of financing, it seems like a good moment to look back and recall how Testbirds became the successful company that it is today.
This won’t simply be a story about investments but about how the funding we’ve received over the years has helped make Testbirds an international success in the field of software testing.
Once upon a time in 2011,, three friends had their own thoughts on how to run a business and they made the transformation from students to founders. In 2011 this first pivotal step was taken, but to continue on their path, they needed money to buy shoes. Ok, not real shoes but an office, computers, telephones, and capital to get their business running. As a result, the founders had to convince somebody to invest money, and they managed to do so by applying for the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology’s EXIST entrepreneurship scholarship offered by Ludwigs-Maximilians-University Munich. This was a good start that gave birth to the idea of crowdtesting.
In 2012 they needed further funding, so they started their first round of financing with new investors to grow and become a serious competitor in the field of software testing. With fresh money in their pockets, they began to sculpt a team and develop the first services that Testbirds would offer. What started as an idea quickly snowballed and became a real business with real clients, colleagues and real bills to pay. For two years, the company flourished. One of the company’s milestones in 2013 was its first steps into international markets: Testbirds opened two new offices outside of Munich: One in Amsterdam and another in London. With headquarters in Munich and offices in the Netherlands and the UK, the growing team started to generate a solid amount of revenue, but the founders wanted to grow to the next level. This motivated them to secure a second round of financing.
In 2014, In 2014, €2.1 million were received as a second investment. Testbirds’ founders used the funds to expand the business within Europe, extend the existing services on offer and add new service levels to the company’s portfolio. Following its successful establishment in Germany, Testbirds opened up to new markets by expanding to the UK and the Netherlands. At the same time, Testbirds opened a franchise through a Hungarian IT company, thereby further expanding on an international level. The founders used the money to accelerate the European expansion by increasing their existing team and setting up local teams in key markets within Europe. But its not only the company that grew. The community of testers, Testbirds’ crowd grew consistantly with around 3,000 new members each month at the time.
In 2016, tthe international crowd hit a milestone of 100,000 testers. By that time, Testbirds also had established its cloud based testing solutions and services, allowing the business to offer crowdtesting and cloud based services like BirdFlight™ and the test infrastructure solution TestChameleon™. To fulfil their goal of becoming the world’s leading provider of innovative software testing solutions, the company had to grow and expand more and more. This was the reason behind their third round of financing, which brought another € 2 million. The money was used to further develop and enhance existing services as well as add new technologies and products to the Testbirds portfolio. It was also allocated to worldwide expansion and opening opportunities in new target markets as well as increasing staff and building teams in new countries.
One year later, everybody could see that the bar has not been set too high: Testbirds celebrated the opening of a new office in Stockholm. This was proof that hard work pays off. Additionally, the new money helped in the development of new technologies, one of which is called the Global Real Device Network, an innovative solution that connects client and tester in a previously unheard of manner by giving the client access to the tester’s real device after the tester having given permission to do so.
Now it is 2018, Testbirds officially celebrated its 6th birthday by receiving the highest round of financing in its history to date: €7 million. The new money will be invested, above all, in the international expansion of the Testbirds team and in the development of new technologies.
To sum up the little story of Testbirds’ evolution, we can say that what started as an idea that three students had has now evolved into an international business with more than 100 team members serving clients all over the world with the aid of over 300,000 testers and over 21 testing solutions. Six years ago the idea of providing clients with successful, adaptable software testing that takes place in the real world was born and has now reached new heights with Testing Reality using Real Users on Real Devices in Real Time.
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About the author
PR & Marketing Manager
At night – at least in the summertime – one can see Felix cruising around Munich on his old Vespa, by day he jumps into everything related to Marketing and PR at Testbirds.
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Testbirds specialises in the testing of software such as apps, websites and Internet of Things applications by using innovative technologies and solutions. Under the slogan, “Testing Reality”, the company offers various testing methods to its clients looking to optimise the user-friendliness and functionality of their digital products. With over 250,000 registered testers located in 193 countries, Testbirds is one of the world’s leading crowdtesting providers. In addition, the IT service provider utilises cloud based technologies to support customers in the optimisation of their digital products. The combination of the two testing methods delivers a unique and extensive portfolio that takes the quality of software to the next level. Testbirds was founded in 2011 by Philipp Benkler, Georg Hansbauer and Markus Steinhauser. Today, the company has over 100 employees. Other than its headquarters in Munich, there are now offices in Amsterdam, London and Stockholm, franchises in Hungary and Russia and sales partners in Italy.
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