Developing a bug-free app is no longer good enough. Users expect world class experience even when the first version of an app is released. Most developers detect major or minor bugs after the first iteration of the app is shipped and published on the Playstore. In most cases, these are corrected, but the damage could already be done, with users leaving a bad review or even abandoning the app. VityMobi , a TechSparks 2015 Tech30 company, aims to solve these pain-points with their flagship product – MobiProbe.
MobiProbe is a real-time performance monitoring service and diagnostic tool for Android and iOS mobile apps. With a focus on performance benchmarks, it follows a developer-centric approach to make app performance diagnostics simpler and more efficient.
MobiProbe helps app developers prioritise what bugs to fix and in what order. Their software development kit (SDK) occupies 15KB on Android and about 200KB on iOS platforms. The startup claims that their SDK is one of the most lightweight bug trackers in the market. MobiProbe provides real-time alerts with detailed stack traces for crash events and allows developers to monitor in real time the logcat (NSLog) of their app, which is an Android logging system that provides a mechanism for collecting and viewing system debug outputs.
Story so far
VityMobi was founded in March 2015 by S. Manish Kumar. Manish, based out of Chandigarh, is the main technical architect having written the source code of the Android SDK from scratch. He oversees the overall strategy of the company and has a team of six members working with him. Bhavneet Kumar Garg manages business growth, Vineet Sharma manages online presence channels, web brand and customer communications and Nitin Karwal leads web development.
Manish, 28, has over six years of software development and mobile development experience and he graduated as an electronics and electrical communications engineer from Punjab Engineering College. VityMobi Systems is Manish’s third attempt with entrepreneurship. Previously, he ran two ventures back in college but things did not materialise beyond a point.
While working in the sector developing apps for different clients, he noticed that existing tools were bloated and not very customisable. Even a paid product he tried out did not work as expected. He contemplated starting up for sometime to solve these pain-points, but wasn’t sure if it was the right time to take the plunge. Manish said,
I attended TechSparks 2014 with a friend and the event boosted my confidence. I thought to myself, even if I fail, there are so many startups I can approach for a job.
So he reached out to a few friends with his plans. They gave him feedback and encouragement that there was a need for such a product in the market. VityMobi has so far acquired 50 clients, many of them young startups, globally. The firm has so far relied on word of mouth marketing, online campaigns, and referrals to reach out to potential clients.
How it works
MobiProbe presently works on a freemium model. By adding their SDK and one line of code, companies can avail enterprise grade application performance analysis and on the go performance updates. The usage is free up to a threshold of 1,000 crash reports and one million event logs. For higher usage, a fee is applicable. The startup currently counts IT services delivery companies as their main target audience.
Manish found that rather than going after mobile-based product companies, IT companies were more willing to try out new products and there were lesser bureaucratic hurdles to jump. With many IT companies located around each other, he also started noticing network effects and getting more word of mouth referrals.
VityMobi’s current focus is not on revenues, but to create a community of developers who can help further improve the product. The startup is currently bootstrapped and is looking to raise external funds sometime next year. Manish added, “We did receive a few funding offers, but I politely declined. When you get a lot of money quickly, you tend to burn it on unnecessary resources. Once the product is more mature and stabilised, we will look to raise funding.”
Sector overview and future plans
Mobile has become the most important communication tool globally, and more so in India where a large percentage of the audience is going online for the first time through mobile. It is estimated that India will reach 314 million mobile Internet users by 2017. With an ever-growing market, it is becoming more crucial for app developers and testers to have more stringent checks and tools to ensure that their apps perform as expected.
Crashlytics, a global player in the crash-reporting and testing space, was acquired by Twitter in 2013. Then there are many players in the Indian app ecosystem such as AppVirality and Appknox that help small and large enterprises boost their app performance and security, respectively.
Manish’s vision is to create a highly focussed platform for performance diagnostics. MobiProbe is a global product. So far he has seen potential clients and users from different geographies such as USA, Philippines, and India. In the next two to three years, VityMobi wants to acquire a user base of at least 50,000 active developers and an app base of over one lakh using its open ended, performance-reporting tool. Manish said,
Most companies are just focussing on how fast they can ship the product without errors. No one is looking at how CPU intensive their code is. Does your app really need all that memory? Is there room to compress it more? In the long run, I see the quality of code playing an important factor.
With features like lightweight SDKs and effective management tools that allow teams to easily assign sub tasks and add or remove people, MobiProbe looks to provide more control to app developers and give end consumers a better experience.
With a pay-as-you go freemium model, MobiProbe provides something for SMEs and larger enterprises. In the long term, this also helps them deal with large volume of data, helping them with their bigger goal of automating test case generation for smartphone apps. However, the team will have to stay on top of competition by adding features and scaling operations.
Video credits: Camera: R Raja and Natraj
Video Editor: Anjali V