Boston-based digital testing company Applause has secured $35 million in Series F funding. Credit Suisse led the round with participation from other investors that included Goldman Sachs, QuestMark Partners, Scale Venture Partners, Longworth Venture Partners, Mesco Ltd and MassVentures.
Correction: A prior version of this story incorrectly stated that Direct Equity Partners led the Series F funding round for Applause. The story has been changed.
Boston, MA – September 14, 2016 – Applause, the in-the-wild digital testing leader, announced it has raised $35 Million in a Series F financing round, led by Direct Equity Partners, an investment program managed by Credit Suisse, and including an investment from strategic partner, Accenture. The funding will increase the company’s investment in its strategy as the go-to source for improving customers’ digital experiences. This round brings Applause’s total funding-to-date to more than $115 Million.
As the company formally launches its expanded Digital Experience solutions in the coming months, this funding enables Applause to:
Further expand its in-the-wild digital testing services. The company will invest heavily in its real-world testing services that enable omni-channel testing – from web to mobile to IoT to brick & mortar – on a global scale. The ability to test brands’ entire customer experience from virtual to physical worlds is already a selling point for Applause with large enterprises.
Invest in growing its digital usability feedback services. Applause will expand its usability and design feedback offerings – which are the company’s second largest revenue-producer today – enabling brands to rapidly collect and analyze feedback from crowdsourced user panels that demographically match customer’s end users.
Formally launch its digital research services. In the past year, dozens of big brands have come to Applause seeking to conduct fast, effective, crowd-powered research to learn what their customers want – across the intersection of digital and physical experiences. And while Applause has successfully fulfilled those requests with its current capabilities, in order to scale to meet market demand anywhere around the globe, the company will invest heavily to expand technology development and extend access to multiple crowds and user panels.
“Digital experiences – from web to mobile to IoT to brick and mortar – are the epicenter of competition in many industries, including retail, restaurants, travel, banking, insurance and manufacturing. Late-stage funding from leaders like Credit Suisse and Accenture, enables us to double down on expanding our solutions,” said Applause CEO, Doron Reuveni. “Applause is uniquely positioned as the de facto leader in Digital Experience testing, usability feedback and research.”
The round had full participation from all of Applause’s previous investors, including Goldman Sachs’s Merchant Banking Division, QuestMark Partners, Scale Venture Partners, Longworth Venture Partners, Mesco Ltd and MassVentures. The company’s most recent funding was a $43 Million Series E round in January, 2014.
Today’s funding news comes as brands are recognizing how critical their digital experiences are to their commercial success. And as the experience economy matures, these digital experiences are now the front door to brands, to the companies behind them, and to their top-line results. The ability to research, test, and get user feedback about your digital experience from people who mirror your end user base – and to do it in a rapid, agile manner – is a major competitive advantage for Applause customers like Amazon, Ralph Lauren, HBO, USA Today, BMW and Concur.
“Our alliance with Applause and investment in the company is a powerful step forward in Accenture’s liquid workforce agenda,” said Paul Daugherty, chief technology officer, Accenture. “Combining our global testing capabilities with Applause’s ‘in-the-wild’ crowdtesting platform will provide clients with a better digital testing solution for websites, mobile apps and IoT products. Together, we bring a unique ability to scale to meet the demands of enterprise clients around the world. That is what led us to forge this alliance relationship and invest in Applause through Accenture Ventures.”
With global headquarters near Boston, MA, Applause launched in August of 2008. Company milestones include:
Growing its footprint to 300+ employees in Boston, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, Berlin, Paris and London
Testing more than 100,000 new builds for 3,000 companies of all sizes – including Google, Microsoft, FOX, Rolex, Shutterfly, The American Red Cross and Runkeeper
Growing its global community of professional testers to more than 250,000
The acquisition of mobile SDK, Apphance in 2012
The acquisition of EU crowdtesting leader, Testhub in 2014
Dozens of awards, including wins from the Stevie Awards, Forbes, Gartner and Inc.
Applause empowers companies to deliver great digital experiences – from web and mobile to wearables, IoT and beyond. By combining in-the-wild testing services, test automation and and a global community, Applause helps the world’s most recognized brands achieve the digital quality they need across every device, operating system, carrier, location and other criteria that their customers value. Thousands of companies – including Google, FOX, Amazon, Concur and Runkeeper – rely on Applause to ensure great digital experiences for their users. Learn more at www.applause.com and follow @applause on Twitter.