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We just raised $4m!

Picture of Fred Stevens-Smith
Fred Stevens-Smith, Tuesday February 10, 2015

Phew! I'm so happy to be able to finally announce that we just closed $4m in Seed funding, to keep building out our vision of new-school QA.

I want to give you some quick insight into what we plan to use the money for, what exactly we've spent the past 3 years doing, and introduce you to the investors that are crazy / smart enough to trust us with this many zeros.

But first: a big thank you to the whole Rainforest team, past and present - without them we would be at $0m.

The road to $XX,XXX MRR

Rainforest was started by my co-founder Russ and I in August of 2012, a mere month before YC S12 Demo Day. With almost no code written and a few tiny customers in our batch, we pitched our idea for 'QA-as-a-Service'. Cue many hilarious jokes (QAaaS).

We started with a bold and ambitious - in hindsight perhaps a little too ambitious - plan to bring about the end of the tedious inefficiencies of traditional QA and replace it with a beautiful, Heroku-like service that put control of testing back in the hands of the people that are ultimately responsible for quality: the PMs, Developers, QAs and Managers.

Our key insight - that humans are still the most efficient way to grok instructions and interfaces - took us about two years to get right. It turns out getting thousands of humans on the other side of the world to give accurate and timely results is not exactly trivial.

In early 2014, as soon as we had some semblance of a product worth paying for we went to market and tried our hand at selling. Many months of 20% monthly revenue growth later, we're at $XX,XXX MRR and still growing strong, in spite of having basically no salespeople (excepting yours truly, of course).

Who are these investors anyway?

When we went out to meet with investors and tell our story at the end of last year, our angle was pretty clear. We believe we have the best way that exists to stop bugs getting into production, but we also know that to build a world-class business for the Long Term we have to back up that product with brilliant execution on sales and marketing.

To help us on this journey the round was co-led by two of the best investors I've had the pleasure of knowing: Jim Andelman at Rincon and Jason Lemkin at Storm. They are helping us build out sales and marketing, and keeping us laser focused on The Things That Matter.

Introductions to both came through our amazing and inspirational friend Kyle, the CEO of another great company, Keen.io. His introduction to Jim was short and sweet: "this is the best person we've ever had involved with the company". Sold. Jason was an even easier sell - I knew of him from his copious posting on Quora and the SaaStr community he built, which I'd spent many late night hours pouring over. This guy is literally SaaS Jesus. He's built a business from 0-$100m ARR, and executed on product, sales, marketing. There's really few other investors who have a more perfect background for what we need.

I'll let them both tell the story from their side, but suffice to say, working with them has been one of those oft-repeated lessons of This Is How Great This Role Can Be. If you aren't slapped in the face with that feeling each time you interact with your investors, you should keep looking :)

What on earth do you spend $4m on?

Good question! In short: preparing the company to get to $10m ARR.

In slightly more detail: building out our sales team; building out our marketing efforts; continuing to engage with the QA and PM community; continuing to make Rainforest more awesome. The rest of our team can tell it better than me, so I'm linking to those posts below.

Thanks for reading this far, and for your continued support of what we're doing! If you've been waiting to try Rainforest, there hasn't been a better time than now :)

Filed under: qa