Test.ai Raises Funding for Bots to Perform App Testing
Whether you're in the business of building software or consuming software, artificial intelligence is a hot topic. Testing has many slow, resource-intensive, and expensive processes, so it’s one area that particularly seems ripe for AI automation.
Test.ai is hoping to be one of the first to tackle that opportunity. It’s a system for AI-powered user scenario testing for mobile and web apps that uses bots, not humans, to develop and run test scenarios.
"It is frustrating to see company after company get stuck in the software testing bottleneck," said Jason Arbon, who cofounded Test.ai with Justin Liu and is the company’s CEO. "We wanted to leverage our backgrounds in mobile, testing, and AI to create a solution that automates the testing process at scale. Now engineers can focus on doing what they do best—solving problems and building products."
Arbon talked about the beginning of Test.ai at STAREAST 2018: “(P)eople like it. But what they also said is, "I want these—these are cool and smart robots, can't they do all my regression tests?" … [So we] built the engineering team even more. And now we have robots where you can very simply tell them what you want them to do, and they'll figure out how to execute that on any app for you.”
Test.ai has trained its bots on thousands of apps so they understand how apps are structured, what interface elements they’re composed of, and what processes users typically go through to use their functionality. The bots then recognize and execute user scenarios automatically, without testers having to write any code.
This also frees up developers to divert their attention away from writing tedious test automation scripts, leading to shorter testing cycles.
“(W)hat we're doing at test.ai is trying to—and I'll say it and scare everybody—we replace Selenium and Appium with AI, right? … So you don't have to code anymore and AI just does it, 90 percent of the work, for you,” Arbon said.
Test.ai was founded in 2015. The startup just closed an $11 million Series A investment led by Gradient Ventures, Google’s AI-focused venture fund, with participation in the round from e.ventures, Uncork Capital, and Zetta Venture Partners. Test.ai now has raised a total of $17.6 million, which Arbon says will be used to scale operations, hire new people, and accelerate their global app testing campaign.
“The beautiful thing is that this virtual brain that we're building right now will be smarter than me,” Arbon said in another STAREAST interview. “It'll be smarter than any app team that's out there just by definition of having a lot of data.”