Bugsnag Catches $1.4M to Monitor Multiplatform App CrashesSeptember 20, 2013
by Lora Kolodny
A startup that's making it easier for developers to monitor app crashes across multiple platforms, Bugsnag Inc., raised $1.4 million in seed funding in a round led by Matrix Partners.
Joining the round were angel investors including Jason Seats (co-founder of Slicehost LLC) and Andy McLoughlin (cofounder of Huddle).
Since the rise of Github and StackOverflow--sites that helps developers improve their code through online collaboration--venture firms have invested in myriad tools that automate unsavory work for developers, such as tracking down bugs, and fixing them. Such startups include: Runscope Inc., Code Climate LLC, AppThwack, OpTier Inc . and this week, Stackdriver Inc. and App Annie Ltd.
Matrix General Partner Dana Stalder , now a board member at Bugsnag, says his firm invested in Bugsnag because "It is part of a major movement underway...moving quality [assurance] tools to software as a service." He admitted the market is "crowded," but emphasized the startup's "unique vision" is in its multiplatform approach.
Bugsnag founder and Chief Executive James Smith explained that his company's technology "catches bugs in the wild" when they happen on apps running on the Web, on iOS and Android systems, at once. Developers can ask, for example, "If you're on a site, what page was a user on when it crashed? Or if you're on a mobile device, which phone, tablet or [e-book] were they using at the time of the crash?"
Other performance-monitoring technologies haven't been able to deliver multiplatform reports in real time, Mr. Smith said. Since February, Bugsnag has tracked more than a billion app crashes, the company claims.
Incorporated in 2013, Bugsnag currently employs three full time in San Francisco. The company closed its seed-priced equity round in September after raising a portion of it in July.
Bugsnag gained early traction among programmers by networking with accelerator participants and alumni from YCombinator, Techstars and Seedcamp, Mr. Smith said. His clients, who he did not have permission to name, include high-volume social networking and messaging apps, along with companies handling health data and payments via mobile apps and websites.
Developers install a line of Bugsnag code in their own apps to get started. It takes five minutes to install and start working, the CEO said.
While the company is still fine-tuning its pricing and developing its technology, Bugsnag currently charges developers $29 per month and a fee based on either the number of daily active users across the apps they're monitoring, or based on the number of crashes they experience each month.
The ultimate goal for Bugsnag, said Mr. Smith, is to get developers to spend 100% of their time creating apps, and none of their time hunting for bugs.
Bugsnag will use its funding to get its first product out into the market without hiring outside sales staff but relying instead on great content marketing and community management instead, said Mr. Smith.
Matrix's Mr. Stalder said Bugsnag reminds him of successful enterprise tech businesses of an earlier generation, like (now part of Hewlett-Packard Co .) and Rational Software Corp. (now part of International Business Machines Corp .). "A lot of very large companies were built to solve the automation of quality control in software...Now that the world has transitioned to mobile and the cloud, and code processing on both the front and back end, there's a new generation," the investor said.