Egyptian startup Instabug is quickly becoming one of the region's major fledgling success stories this year, despite the country's recent turmoil.
Yesterday, the bug tracking app was listed as one of 15 finalists in The Next Web’s Mobile Startup Rally, after competing against over a hundred applicants from around the world.
On October 1st and 2nd, Instabug's founders, Omar Gabr and Moataz Soliman, will present onstage to investors, media, and marketers at TNW Conference USA, along with their 14 fellow finalist teams, who hail from countries including Germany, Estonia, Argentina, The Netherlands, and the U.S. FIve more finalists will will be chosen on site from those with Startup Tables or Demo Desks at the event.
It’s a big opportunity for Giza-based Instabug, which has been on a roll ever since it graduated from Flat6Labs last September (under the name A*Apps), and then won the MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Business Plan Competition this April and then was accepted into the first Google for Entrepreneurs program, which brought eight startups to Silicon Valley to work for two weeks in the “Blackbox Mansion” in Palo Alto this July.
What seems to set Instabug apart is its ease of use; it's designed to make bug tracking dead simple for mobile app developers.
Here's how it works: Once a developer adds a single line of code to their mobile app, Instabug runs in the background. Then, with a shake of the iPhone, a user can pull up Instabug's feedback layer and use a highlighter, paintbrush, or text to circle buggy areas and explain bad user experience issues. Instabug then submits an annotated screenshot to the developer, along with statistsics and information about the user's device, OS, and location, making it intuitive to both submit feedback and learn from it.
The app's simplicity and focus on a critical need has gained the attention of international investors. Sean Jacobsohn of Silicon Valley-based venture firm Emergence Capital pointed out the value that he saw, as a judge in the innovation Showdown at the MobileBeat conference in San Francisco this year. "In the mobile world, you don’t have a lot of time with your consumers — if you have a bad experience, that company might be done," Jacobsohn told VentureBeat.
Founders Gabr and Soliman were unable to attend that
particular competition, due to visa issues at the time, but when an
investor presented the product, it wowed judges anyway. The two
continued to iterate their features this summer, according to
user feedback, and are are now in Silicon Valley; we'll update with
a quote once they wake up today.
When we spoke to them in July, they noted that they were staying close to their users. "We have people who don't know us sending us emails and telling us that the service is really solving a huge pain they were facing. It's this feedback that makes us continue on what we're doing," said Soliman.
Check out the video below for more on how it works.