100 million bugs detected: How Instabug aims to turn into Egypt’s unicorn

Instabug’s software development kit (SDK) identifies bugs and glitches in mobile apps on Android and iOS devices by using the feature of the “Shake and Send” gesture (Photo Courtesy of Intsabug)

A global company with an Egyptian team, serving 15,000 platforms including Dubsmash, Houseparty, Souq, Samsung, and Lyft – in a nutshell: Instabug.

Instabug’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) helps detect and fix bugs – in a technical sense, of course – and has reached a billion users worldwide with a hundred million issues reported in regions like the US, Europe, Asia and the Middle East as of 2018.

“We are aiming to become the ultimate support kit for mobile app developers. Whatever the developer needs when building an application, we would ultimately provide,” senior growth marketer at Instabug Yasmine Helmy says.

How does it work?
Bug reporting – that is what Instabug is all about. The company’s software development kit (SDK) identifies bugs and glitches in mobile apps on Android, iOS and cross-platform devices by using the feature of the “Shake and Send” gesture. The user shakes the device to identify that something is wrong in the application and sends the problem in-app. 

“We receive comments from users 24/7 and fix them in less than 24 hours. If it takes longer, we determine the exact time of when it will be resolved,” Helmy explains.

How does it attract and retain users?
She labels the team responsible for receiving the user comments as the Customer Happiness team instead of a Customer Support team, based on the approach of “winning the users’ hearts”.

“At Instabug, we have created a set of values that we believe and embody in everything we do,” Helmy adds. “We always go the extra mile to make the users feel that we actually care.”

Aside from winning the users’ hearts, winning their trust was a key factor in paving the Instabug’s journey. New features introduced in the software are not decided by both the teams and from the users’ feedback and comments.

“Our Product team receives the comments from the Happiness team and addresses them by introducing features that overcome obstacles the users face while using our software,” she explains.

How does it gain users’ trust?
The startup always tries to build connections with its clients. One way it ensures trust aside from the technical aspects of the software, is by visiting clients’ offices and bringing them souvenirs from Egypt with their signature on them. These visits are usually conducted by co-founders Omar Gabr and Moataz Soliman and are followed by a chat on their success story of becoming who they are today.

“They want [users] to feel that we are not just a company but rather a group of people that are connected with them on a personal level,” Helmy explains. 

How did it start?
Six years ago, Instabug started as a platform for beta testing under the name of AStarApps, which was later narrowed down to one of its smaller features. The platform revolved around bug reporting, after being incubated and receiving a seed fund of $11,000.

“Both Gabr and Soliman started exposing their product to all communities that involved developers worldwide and that was when they started drawing people’s attention,” Helmy explains.

From posting the product idea on Product Hunt, a website that lets users share and discover new products, all the way to attending different events worldwide and winning at the MIT Arab Competition where they received a fund of $50,000 – they have done it all. This also included dealing with clients from different regions worldwide while serving global needs.

The startup’s aim to become the first Egyptian unicorn with over $2.1 million in investments raised, would entail the team to work more on the product, Helmy says, and acquire and retain more customers.

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