twig, a startup offering user research tools and software products, announced today that it has raised $30 million in a funding round from Andreessen Horowitz, Accel, First Round Capital, Elad Gil and Figma Ventures. This brings the company’s total fundraising to $90 million, which CEO Ryan Glasgow says is being used to expand Sprig’s service lineup, support sales and marketing efforts, and allocate resources for integration and partnerships.
Glasgow founded Sprig in 2019. Prior to founding the company, he was an early team member and product manager for Weebly website builder and Vurb search app. While working at Weebly, Sprig said he learned how difficult it is to conduct research throughout the product development life cycle, especially when deadlines are tight and research resources are in high demand.
“While I had access to a variety of tools, from product analytics and A/B testing to feature labeling and roadmaps, I lacked a tool that made it quick and easy to understand [Weebly’s] customers in real time,” he told TechCrunch. “I knew there was a better way, and in January 2019 I launched Sprig and then named it UserLeap.”
According to Glasgow, public figures suggest that user experience research is rarely given priority. 2019 interview from UserZoom found that companies are struggling to integrate user research into product development and that budgets are stagnant even though most executives view user and customer experience as a competitive advantage. According to one reportonly 55% of companies currently conduct Any user experience testing – even though every dollar invested in user experience rated to make a $100 profit, according to Forrester Research.
Sprig provides surveys and templates for research teams doing user experience research. But it also goes beyond that by analyzing responses to open-ended questions in surveys to summarize the results by topic. Using artificial intelligence, Glasgow says Sprig recognizes “thematic similarities” between responses – even when there are no overlapping words or phrases.
“Sprig surveys are based on an event-driven architecture and are triggered based on certain actions or inactions (e.g. deregistration, non-use of a certain feature) and user characteristics (e.g. plan type or geography) after a low level. or without one-time code integration,” Glasgow explained. “Companies operating at … scale often consider building their own survey tool, which requires a dedicated team of engineers to operate and maintain it. Considering that the cost of a fully loaded engineer is over $200,000 per year, investing in Sprig is a no-brainer.”
Indeed, research is often expensive – software-as-a-service companies spend rated For example, 23% of their income is from R&D – and there is no guarantee that this will lead to a successful result. Forty-two percent of companies in a recent CB Insights study interview they cited a lack of market demand as the reason one of their products didn’t catch on.
Sprig recently launched Concept & Usability Testing, which allows companies to test ideas, concepts, designs and prototypes before they go into production. Concept and usability testing includes browser-based testing that allows Sprig survey participants to view one or more concepts, complete recorded tasks, and provide feedback, and allows teams to discover new participants from an existing research panel, product, or app.
Glasgow sees UserTesting, UserZoom and Qualtrics as competitors in the rapidly growing user experience monitoring market. User testing became public last year after raising over $150 million in capital. IPO Qualtrics came earlier, in January 2021, and increased the firm’s market capitalization to $23 billion. Just in June Maze – a close rival – received $40 million in the Series B round, and UserZoom last April closed a $100 million tranche and acquired experience analysis company EnjoyHQ.
Taking the competition into account, Glasgow is pleased with Sprig’s recent performance, noting that net recurring revenue has grown by 300% in the last 12 months. (He countered when asked about regular annual income.) Sprig’s current customers include Dropbox, Loom and Square, and the company plans to increase its headcount from 95 to 125 by the end of the year.
“Sprig was not in need of funding, but our existing investors were actively approaching us with an offer in excess of our previous estimate. It was too good to pass up, so we did a quick inside round that only took a few days,” added Glasgow. “Companies need to be convinced before deploying resources to create new products, and be able to develop a product based on user feedback. Sprig helps scale research programs by unlocking insights quickly, freeing up the team to focus on doing the best they can.”
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