Strong revenue and a promising future helped uTest lead Massachusetts start-ups on Forbes’ annual ‘Most Promising Companies’ list, with local companies Epizyme, Wayfair, Veracode, Actifio, Neolane, and VMTurbo also earning nods.
I’d just written about the company at the end of January when uTest launched Applause, a new way to evaluate and track audience feedback on mobile apps.
The company’s been on an expansive tear lately, acquiring Apphance in August.
Forbes reports uTest’s revenue as $20 million and cited its large tester base and marquee customers (including Netflix, Amazon, and Google) in the honor.
Matt Johnston, uTest’s chief marketing officer, told me that the award was a nice public validation of a specialty it can be hard to get people talking about.
“A CTO doesn’t wake up and say, I’m going to talk about software testing today,” he told me.
But uTest’s approach of helping companies push regular builds into the wild, on a variety of platforms and hardware configurations, means that customers can reliably and quickly spot game-stopping bugs before they push critical new releases, particularly important as more companies move to a continuous-deployment schedule as opposed to a few, heavily-tested big releases.
“What mobile has brought about is that you have to test in the wild,” he told me. “It isn’t a nice to have, it’s a need to have.”
That’s particularly true as more businesses go “mobile first,” so that the primary — or in some cases only — point of contact with a businesses is through a mobile app.
uTest wasn’t the only Massachussetts start-up to make Forbes’ top 50 promising companies, either, a point that brought out both a bit of local pride and competitive spirit from Johnston.
“The Boston start-up scene doesn’t get enough credit. It is one of the top three start-up hubs in the United States,” he said. “It was a real point of pride to be named at the top of the New England market, with all the great startups out here.”
Other honored Bay State start-ups include:
— Epizyme, which creates personalized cancer therapies.
— Wayfair, a fast-growing online commerce platform.
— Veracode, which offers application security solutions.
— Actifio which focuses on IT backup management.
— Neolane, which provides digital marketing tools and services
— VMTurbo, which helps managed virtualized performance in IT infrastructure.
Massachusetts wasn’t the only New England state to be awarded high honors, either.
Angus Davis, founder & chief executive of Swipely, had his company named 96th on the list (It’s the first Rhode Island company to make the list at all).
Even more impressive, however, is the honor Davis earned for himself: Forbes named him one of America’s most promising CEOs under 35, citing both his success with Swipely and his first company, Tellme Networks, which sold to Microsoft for $800 million in 2007.
“In 2013, we’ll expand across the US to bring powerful, simple and affordable online marketing tools to the local businesses that fuel America’s economy,” Davis wrote in a blog post. “Thank you to the entire Swipely ecosystem for our strong start – our tireless 40-person team in Rhode Island and around the country, our investors, and our most importantly our local merchant members who propel us forward every day.”
Producer’s Note: This article originally omitted Neolane and VMTurbo from the list of honored Massachusetts companies. The full list of all companies on Forbes’ list is now available.