Throughout the July / August vacation period, the Rude Baguette will be running a series of interviews with some of France’s top and rising startups, where their founders give us more insight into their business, their future plans and what sets them apart from the rest. In this installment, we talk with Eric Bustarret, Cofounder of MobileReady, who launched their ‘mobile testing made easy’ platform at our Paris Founders Event last month.
You debuted MobileReady at the most recent edition of our Paris Founders Event. For those who were unable to attend, tell us a bit about MobileReady, what it is and how your idea to make mobile app testing easy came about?
MobileReady is a fully automated mobile application test platform. It helps anyone publishing a mobile application to carry some testing on a wide range of real devices with a limited budget and within a few minutes. We have put an emphasis on simplicity so that you really don’t need technical skills to run a test campaign (but a real developer still help in case you need to fix something in the app!).
The idea of the mobile app testing service came at the end of 2012. Patrick and Bruno, the two other cofounder of MobileReady were conducting a market survey and visiting several mobile developers in Brittany to try to understand how they were testing their apps and what do they miss to be more efficient. They came up with a set of five different services with the remote app testing service amongst them. When I joined them to create MobileReady at end of 2013, we were still working on three different services. I convinced them to focus on the app testing platform as I have feeling that this could be something huge. Future will tell but we already have a really great feedback from our early prospects.
For those that are less familiar, what are the biggest challenges you see developers facing when developing and testing apps. How do you resolve these problems for them?
Taking care of device fragmentation is obviously one of the biggest challenge when developing a mobile application. This is especially true for Android developers where you expect an application to behave correctly on a low-end phone with a 3″ screen and a poor CPU as well as on a high end tablet with a 10″ screen. And this is not counting the various operating system versions, manufacturers customizations, etc…. Time to market and cost management are two other challenges as mobile development start to be quite a competitive area. Identifying a bug early during the development phase makes it cheaper and quicker to fix.
Using the MobileReady platform, a developer can access a wide range of devices whenever he needs it, without buying those device. Thanks to the automation features, he don’t need more than a few seconds to setup a test on these devices, and a few minutes to get the results. At the very end, thanks to the platform, he is able to do more testing with less time and less money…
With the increasing proliferation of smartphones and, as a consequence, apps around the world, automating the app testing process is clearly a substantial market opportunity. From your perspective, how will MobileReady disrupt this space? How ‘big’ do you think MobileReady could be?
Yes definitely! We have a few competitors but also some key differentiations with them. Simplicity and smarter automation are two of them, and a part of the offer has no market equivalent yet, but this will be disclosed after the platform launch. If we can combine proper execution and proper funding – we need to strengthen the development team – we can get big rather quickly. Our current business / financial plan is to reach a turnover of 1 million Euros within a few years.
What are the next big milestones you have for MobileReady in terms of technical and product development and commercial objectives?
Our next milestones are to get the platform out of beta, launch it commercially and get a few hundreds of paying customers. We expect to launch at Fall this year and to reach our customer milestones during the first half of 2015. In term of product development, we plan to add support for Mobile Web and iOS as well as enhancing the automation capabilities of the platform. We also probably need to get some VC on board by that time to achieve a decent time-to-market and to be able to expand ouside Europe.
Which geographic markets do you think might be most promising for MobileReady and why?
Europe will be our first natural market since this is where we are located. In term of business, I think that both US and Asia have a great potential, maybe with a small advantage for Asia. This is were mobile developer are most active so the market potential is huge. Furthermore, due to the language and cultural difference, it is not always convenient for a western developer to address this market, and for an asian one to access ours. So a platform that would ease the remote testing of an app on target market devices is definitely of great interest in this matter.
What is your long-term vision for MobileReady?
It is very difficult to answer without disclosing too many plans. We are building a platform and we have many usage ideas around it. But one thing is sure: we want to reach a global audience and become a reference as far as mobile application testing is concerned!