When companies are considering purchasing a particular software service, they typically want to test it in their own environment, a process that can be surprisingly challenging. testbox, a new startup, wants to change that by providing a fully functioning package with pre-populated data to give the team a way to test and collaborate on a product before making a purchase decision.
Today the company announced that it is making the product more widely available and is raising a $2.7 million seed round from SignalFire and FirstMinute Capital, along with several other investors and industry angels.
Company co-founder Sam Sr. says he and his co-founder Peter Holland recognized that it was challenging for companies buying software to test it realistically. “So Testbox is the first time that companies are going to be able to test multiple pieces of enterprise software with an easy-to-use live environment configured specifically for them with guided walk-throughs so that it makes sense for them To be really easy to get up to speed,” explained the senior.
He says that until now, even with free versions or free trial periods, it was hard to test and collaborate in that kind of environment with key stakeholders in the company. The Testbox GPT-3 comes pre-loaded with data generated by OpenAI to test how the software behaves and lets participants grade various characteristics on a simple star rating system and provide comments as needed . All feedback is recorded in a “notebook,” giving the company a central place to collect all data.
What’s more, it puts the company buying the software in control of the process, rather than having it operated by the vendor, which is usually the case. “Actually, now [the customer gets to] Be the one who defines the experience, leads them through the process, while making it collaborative, and gives them more confidence [in their decision],” he told.
For now, the company plans to focus on customer support software and is working with Zendesk, Hubspot and Freshdesk, but plans to expand and add additional partners over time. It’s in talks with Salesforce about adding Service Cloud and expects to bring them to the platform in some form later this year. It plans to expand into other verticals such as CRM, MarTech and IT Help Desk over time.
Senior is a former Bain consultant who worked with companies that buy enterprise software, and saw firsthand the issues they were faced with testing software before purchasing. He quit his job last summer, and began by talking to 70 customers, vendors, and experts to get a real sense of what they were looking for in a solution.
He then teamed up with Holland to build the first version of the software before raising his seed money last October. The company began hiring in February and has 8 employees so far, but wants to keep it fairly lean through the company’s early stages of growth.
Even at this early stage, the company is already taking a diversified approach to hiring. “Already when we’re working with recruitment firms, we’re saying they need to split the pipeline as much as possible, and that’s something we’ve spent a long, long time with. […] We actually spent six months with an open role at the front end because we want to build more diversity into our team as quickly as possible,” he said.
He reports that the company has a fairly equal gender and ethnic divide at this point, and holds monthly events to raise awareness internally about the different groups, giving way to employees when they make sense.
At least for now, he plans to run the company in a distributed manner, but acknowledges that as it gets bigger, it may need to see at least one centralized office as a home base. is.