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In the enterprise, the pandemic has led to a sharp increase in software release cadences and automation. This is partly thanks to the adoption of low-code development platforms, which eliminate the programming traditionally required to create applications and software. Respondents to a Statista 2021 survey report that low-code tools helped them release apps 40% to 60% faster, while 60% of developers to say GitLab that they commit code twice as fast and integrate higher-impact technologies into their processes.

However, the accelerated pace of development has introduced new blockers, such as a backlog of testing and code reviews. GitLab reports that only 45% of developers review code weekly, with 22% choosing to do so every two weeks instead. It’s not that the pace of innovation in software testing is slowing down – it’s not – but that aspects such as installation, maintenance, security and incompatible issues remain obstacles.

The urgency of the challenge – insufficient testing can lead to security vulnerabilities – has brought to light startups like mabl, which today announced it has raised $40 million in a Series C investment led by Vista Equity Partners. Founded in 2017 by Dan Belcher and Izzy Azeri, Mabl is part of a group of new companies developing platforms that enable software teams to create, run, manage and automate software and API testing.

“Despite the fact that the testing category is massive, no software-as-a-service leader had emerged in the space [prior to Mabl] … This void has left enterprises with a choice between incredibly complex and expensive legacy testing solutions and self-managed open-source frameworks coupled with bespoke infrastructure inaccessible to QA professionals,” Belcher told VentureBeat via email. . “Mabl envisioned and delivered an end-to-end enterprise testing solution that would combine a low-code framework, a software-as-a-service delivery model, deep integration with enterprise environments and workflows. business, data analytics and artificial intelligence to disrupt the testing industry.

Large-scale test automation

Belcher and Azeri are the second-time founders, having launched Stackdriver, a service that provides performance and diagnostic data to public cloud users. Stackdriver was acquired by Google in 2014 for an undisclosed amount and recently became part of the Google Cloud operations suite.

With Mabl, Belcher and Azeri set out to create a product that allows developers to orchestrate browser, API, mobile and web application testing from a single location. Mabl’s low-code dashboard is designed to automate end-to-end testing locally or in the cloud, running tests with different data permutations to strengthen individual test cases.

“The lack of effective test automation is a major problem in the software industry, as inefficient testing leads to a huge drop in team productivity due to rework, overhead, and a bottleneck. general throttling in throughput, as quality engineering cannot run at the same speed as development and operations. Similarly, inefficient testing leads to poor product quality, not only from a point from a functional point of view, but also in terms of user experience, performance, accessibility, etc., “added Belcher. “Low code is essential because it democratizes testing – making it accessible to quality engineers, testers manuals, developers, product owners and others – rather than limiting efforts to a quality engineer or developer.”

Above: Mabl’s automated test orchestration dashboard.

Image Credit: Mabl

Mabl can generate tests from the content of emails and PDFs, adapting to the evolution of the user interface of the application under test with the development. An AI-based screenshot comparison feature attempts to mimic real-life visual UI tests to help detect unwanted UI changes, while a link-crawling capability generates standalone tests that cover accessible paths in the application, giving insight into broken links.

“There are a number of areas where we use AI to benefit clients. In particular…Mabl automatically trains and updates structural and performance models of page elements, and incorporates these models into the timing and test execution logic,” Belcher explained. [also leverages] visual anomaly detection that uses visual patterns to differentiate between expected changes resulting from dynamic data and dynamic elements from unexpected changes and defects.

Mabl allows customers to update and debug tests without affecting major releases. API endpoints can be used to trigger Mabl tests, as well as plugins for CI/CD platforms including GitHub, Bitbucket Pipelines, and Azure Pipelines. On the analytics side, Mabl displays metrics quantifying how well tests cover an app, identifying gaps based on statistics, and interactive elements on a page.

Growing trend

Mabl users include development teams at Charles Schwab, ADP, Stack Overflow and JetBlue, and the Boston, Mass.-based company expects to more than double its recurring revenue this year. But the company faces competition from Virtuoso, ProdPerfect, Testim, Functionize, Mesmer and Sauce Labs, among others. Markets and Markets predicted that the size of the global automation testing market will grow from $12.6 billion in 2019 to $28.8 billion by 2024.

Automated testing is not a silver bullet. In one blog post, Amir Ghahrai, Principal Testing Consultant at Amido, outlines some of the common issues that can arise, such as the wrong expectations about automated testing and test automation at the wrong layer of the application stack.


Still, a growing number of enterprises are adopting automated testing tools, especially in light of high-profile ransomware and software supply chain attacks. According to a LogiGear survey, at least 38% of developers have at least tried test automation, even if it failed when first implemented. another spring estimates that 44% of IT organizations automated 50% or more of all testing in 2020.

“Mabl has over 200 customers worldwide, including 10 from Fortune 500 companies and 32 from Fortune Global 2000 companies. We have active and paying users in over 60 countries,” Belcher said. “The Mabl community in Japan has more than doubled in the past six months, reaching nearly 1,500 members. The Japanese customer base has grown by 322% and revenue has grown by more than 300% in the past year, now representing 10% of the company’s total worldwide revenue. »

Existing investors Amplify Partners, Google Ventures, Presidio Capital and CRV also participated in Mabl’s 55-employee round. This brings the startup’s total capital raised to over $77 million.


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