Telstra backs mobile app testing company Headspin

Telstra Ventures has invested an undisclosed amount in Headspin, which provides app developers with a testing, monitoring, and analysis platform prior to and following the launch of an app.

Telstra's venture capital arm Telstra Ventures has announced investing in Silicon Valley-based mobile app testing company Headspin, citing the growth in downloads and usage of mobile apps globally.

According to Telstra, Headspin's platform enables companies to test apps prior to launch, and then provides them with data that helps developers "enhance the customer experience and benchmark against competitors" following launch.

These capabilities can be used to simulate and measure customer experience on the Telstra network, Telstra Ventures MD Mark Sherman added.

Headspin already serves app developers with collectively more than 1 billion active monthly users, Headspin CEO and co-founder Manish Lachwani said, and is looking to utilise the Telstra partnership to expand into the Asia-Pacific region.

"Our easy-to-use performance management, monitoring, and testing platform has already covered over 22,000 devices in 140 locations. With this coverage, we collect a wealth of data about the network performance, application performance, and user experience," Lachwani added.

"This allows us to carry out analysis real time, and feed back to the developer application activity, issues identified, and suggested solutions, and a video playback of the customer experience."

According to Sherman, approximately 149 billion mobile apps were downloaded across the globe during 2016, ahead of a predicted 353 billion in 2021.

Telstra has been using its venture capital arm to boost its innovation over the past few years, with Telstra Ventures in March similarly announcing a strategic partnership with SD-WAN specialist VeloCloud in order to bolster its software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualisation (NFV) solutions.

Telstra said it would use VeloCloud's solutions for simplifying and automating enterprise branch SDN functionality, after Telstra Ventures backed VeloCloud alongside Cisco during a $35 million Series D funding round led by Hermes Growth Partners.

In August last year, Telstra Ventures also signed a memorandum of understanding with Telkom Indonesia's corporate venture arm PT Metra Digital Investama to collaborate on startup investment opportunities in South East Asia.

Investing in startups and technology companies has created new revenue streams for Telstra, the telecommunications provider said at the time, particularly in the growing Asian region.

"Over the past five years, Telstra Ventures has invested over AU$200 million in more than 30 different technology companies, giving us access to new revenue streams and cutting-edge technology we can use in-house and provide to our customers," Telstra said last year.

Telstra Ventures at the time particularly pointed towards startups in the e-commerce, e-health, Internet of Things, and fintech sectors.

Telstra Ventures also invested in Cloopen, a Chinese API provider in July 2016, additionally making a multimillion-dollar investment in Taiwanese video big data and analytics company Gorilla Technology Group in March 2015 to boost its video analytic software solutions for the government, security, broadcast, and retail sectors.

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