The critical process of software testing is probably as old as the time when the software industry started taking shape. Testing being an very important part of the entire software development cycle, different technologies have made timely interventions to further improve and streamline the entire process. As a result, today automatic testing has almost replaced manual testing and has become a standard norm in the industry. But the London based SpotQA thought that something was still amiss and this gap needs be to filled up to make the process more efficient.
Founded in 2016 by entrepreneur Adil Mohammed, SpotQA sought to resolve this pain-point by designing intuitive and highly efficient flagship product Virtuoso. With Virtuoso, SpotQA is seeking to transform the way the world tests software. The company claims that Virtuoso is an intelligent quality assistance platform that will not only accelerate but also simplify the entire software testing process.
SpotQA has high hopes from Virtuoso as this young company looks to push the growth frontier beyond the UK market. And this ambitious quest already seems to have received major boost, after the company recently raised $3.25 Mn in a seed funding round. This fundraising round is also how this promising company caught Techpluto’s attention and we were more than happy to catch up with SpotQA’s founder and CEO Adil Mohammed for an exclusive interview.
Q) Where and how did you figure that your next startup has to be about ‘software testing?’
Having always been part of software and product development in some capacity, I knew how important software testing was and how painful it is. After my last startup, I started researching this area more and realized that there has not been a lot of innovation in software testing for sometime and hence decided to start SpotQA to address this and solve the big problems in software testing.
Q) What really makes SpotQA’s flagship product Virtuoso a superior software testing platform than the rest of its competitors?
User data and customer metrics. We’re seeing fantastic results with enterprise customers across industry. Such as:
- Manual QA’s automating tests 20 X faster with our platform than SDET colleagues using traditional tools
- Self-healing tests cutting down test maintenance time by 50%
- Bots exploring and QA’ing large applications autonomously in minutes which reduces down the number test scripts to create and run, freeing up teams to focus elsewhere.
From a feature perspective, Virtuoso’s use of RPA is unique. Bots can be easily directed to explore, interact, gather data and QA applications. Think about things you care about e.g. functionality, forms, specific input fields, content change validation, UX & brand, accessibility etc.
Bots coupled with Machine Learning will have a huge impact on software QA sooner than people think.
Q) What were some of the main challenges you faced while designing your flagship product?
We designed Virtuoso from scratch. The first step of this journey was to understand the real problems and pain points of our target audience. To this effect, we spent a lot of time working with our target market before we started developing the
product. Once we felt that we understood their problems deeply, we engineered innovative solutions by combining technologies such as RPA, NLP, ML with interesting techniques including exploration, snapshotting, state mapping and more.
We face challenges constantly but it part and parcel of trying to do things differently.
Q) SpotQA recently raised $3.25 Mn in seed funding round. How does the company plan to use this capital infusion for long term growth?
By scaling engineering and R&D alongside sales and marketing. Both are instrumental to our growth plans.
Q) Where does SpotQA currently stands in terms of revenue and profit. Can you please share some stats and figures with regards to the same?
We are growing rapidly quarterly basis but the exact figures will remain confidential I’m afraid!
Q) Which are the markets where SpotQA is currently operating and which are the potential markets that the company plans to target for expansion in coming years?
We operate in the UK, Portugal and India. Primary markets are the UK, US, Western Europe and India. We plan grow aggressively in these markets and expand to further globally in 2020.
Q) Your thoughts about existing competition in the software testing industry?
The competition landscape will continue to change with the market. There are more new entrants competing alongside well established players than ever before but all must stay focused on the changes occurring in this industry otherwise they’ll get left behind.
Those competitors who are really tuned in to the customers world and who make the right bold plays will flourish. Either innovate or you risk ceasing to be relevant.
Q) Where do you see SpotQA in two-three years from now in terms of overall growth?
We see SpotQA amongst world’s leading Intelligent Quality Assistant Platform for web and mobile web applications.
Q) Apart from Machine Learning and AI, what other trends are likely to dominate the software testing industry in the coming years?
I see three trends gathering momentum in 2020
- Quality Assistance over quality assurance to improve the collaboration and approach to quality across the entire modern SDLC. Culture and process will change with the technology.
- Robotic process automation (RPA) – automation engineers directing bots to test their applications at speed, at scale. Elevating their talent beyond the creation and maintenance of low value test scripts
- The decline of custom automation frameworks – more often than not, they simply don’t deliver the efficiency the business needs
The primary concept behind IQA is ensuring quality across your entire SDLC and you can find more about IQA here –
Q) Lastly looking back at your entrepreneurial career, what piece of advice you would like to give to all the budding as well as professional entrepreneurs out there?
Find people with the right attitude and hunger, some missing skills can be learnt. Have your end customers involved with your product as early as you can, the feedback and learnings from this can be invaluable. Don’t develop in a silo.
And get people to pay for your work/product soon, that is the real test of value.