The performance of a mobile app can impact how customers perceive a brand. According to an HP-sponsored Dimensional Research survey, 53% of responding app users said they had uninstalled a mobile app with issues such as lag, while 37% said they had an app causing the issues. performance.
Given the pace of development, good performance is not always easy to maintain. Seeking an automatable solution, four siblings – David, Daniil, Anna and Maria Liberman – co-founded Product Science, a startup that develops performance management software for applications. Product Science’s platform analyzes application code to find flaws in execution, with the goal of minimizing noticeable crashes, hangs, and errors.
“Every two years, phones are at least 50% faster, and that’s what distorts our view since we don’t notice how much our apps are degrading. But for long-tail users, their experience is deteriorating. dramatically,” David and Daniil, co-CEOs of Product Science, told TechCrunch via email. “At Product Science, our mission is to eliminate the delays caused by software inefficiencies for people around the world. “
The Liberman siblings have been close for a long time. In 2005, Daniil and David co-founded Sibilant Interactive, which developed massively multiplayer RPG games. After Sibilant closed in 2008 due to a lack of cash, David and Daniil – along with Anna and Maria – co-launched Concept Space, a provider of motion capture and CGI animation software. The brothers moved to the United States a few years later to co-found fintech startup Frank.Money and AR company Kernel AR, which Snap acquired for an undisclosed sum in October 2016.
At Snap, the Liberman siblings, including Anna and Maria, oversaw an animation studio and worked on Snapchat’s 3D Bitmoji feature, which allows users to create full versions of their avatars. At Snap, David and Daniil said they were also in charge of production operations, particularly troubleshooting performance issues with the Snap app for Android.
That’s when they had the idea for Product Science. Along with Anna and Maria, David and Daniil started the Libermans Company, a holding company in which each brother has a 25% stake, and started Product Science as a business under the holding company.
Through the company Libermans, the siblings promised investors all the projects they could start until 2051, allowing them to fund Product Science in the pre-seed stage. The Libermans company includes all debts and assets that the siblings might acquire as well as profits; investors get a proportionate share of the wealth created by the siblings, but have no say in how they allocate their time and effort.
“We realized that the existing performance and observability tools were ineffective and decided to reinvent the application performance management industry,” said David and Daniil. “By replacing manual instrumentation and integrating it directly into build processes, Product Science enables anyone to identify the causes of application performance issues.”
Product Science – which has raised $18 million in seed funding to date from backers including Slow Ventures, Coatue, K5 Global, Mantis Ventures, Benchmark’s Peter Fenton, Insight Partners co-founder Jerry Murdock and from anonymous VPs of Snap – analyzes pre-production code using AI. The company’s tools and plugins for integrated development environments display video recordings of applications alongside performance traces, providing information about what’s happening behind the screen.
David and Daniil say that one company, Saturn, used Product Science’s platform to reduce their app startup time from 4 seconds to 0.7 seconds. “Engineers can see their app’s video recording synced with recorded profiler data on any mobile device [using Product Science’s tools]“, added the brothers. “[They can] browse a video recording and dive into the code running behind the scenes.
Product Science counts Fortune 500 companies in industries including social media, travel, e-commerce and banking among its clients, though David and Daniil won’t disclose how many clients the startup currently has. Annual recurring revenue is north of $3 million, according to David and Daniil, while Product Science — which was recently valued at $200 million, a source familiar with the matter told TechCrunch — aims to grow from 40 employees to around 100 by the end of the year.
“We realize the industry is going to slow down and we want to make sure we’re more flexible with our enterprise offerings and can quickly grow the AI vision for the product,” David and Daniil said. “Product Science will use the money to fuel its growth: We’re dividing the capital raised evenly between attracting new customers, securing key hires, and refining our proprietary AI algorithm.”
One of those refinements will come in the form of a new capability that suggests optimizations while engineers write code in their IDE of choice. The long-term vision is to train Product Science AI to automatically fix underperforming application code, David and Daniil said.
This continued differentiation will likely be key to Product Science’s success. After all, there are plenty of rivals in the application performance monitoring space, including platforms like Groundcover, ServiceNow (via its acquisition of Lightstep), Instabug, Sentry, Embrace, and even Cisco.
The application performance monitoring market was worth over $5.9 billion in 2021, according to one estimate.
“There is both an opportunity and a challenge in the current environment,” added David and Daniil. “The challenge is that most software-as-a-service startups experience longer sales cycles and the company is actively reducing expenses; the opportunity for product science is that since users are also reducing their expenses, the tool is increasingly becoming a go-to for mainstream companies since you can now fix your performance issues before production and build customer loyalty and reduce turn significantly.