SOASTA, the granddaddy of cloud testing, gets $12M

SOASTA, the company that helped pioneer cloud-based load testing, has raised a $12 million Series D round as a throng of competitors jockeys for position behind it. The idea of using virtual servers to simulate real-world load on applications was somewhat novel when SOASTA launched in 2008, but it’s far more relevant today as new applications for the web, mobiles and even Facebook pop up by the minute. It’s no surprise then that everyone wants a piece of the action testing those apps before they roll out.

While SOASTA has been busy rolling out new features, talking about high-profile customers and expanding beyond its Amazon EC2 roots, (s amzn) a slew of companies have built up behind it. Among them are Apica, BlazeMeter, BrowserMob, LoadStorm, Mu Dynamics, Neotys and SmartBear (LoadUI). There should be plenty of business to go around, as application development has spiked with new platforms such as mobile phones, tablets and social-media sites. Given the ubiquity of on-demand testing services, there’s little excuse for developers with an eye on mass adoption to be caught off guard by application issues in the face of high traffic.

SOASTA still appears to be the gold standard, though, claiming lots of customers (many of them household names) and having raised more than $30 million overall. The Entrepreneurs’ Fund, led this latest round, with participation from prior investors Canaan Partners, Formative Ventures, and Pelion Venture Partners.

When asked about the spate of competitors, SOASTA CEO Tom Lounibos told GigaOM via email:

SOASTA on the other hand … changed the web and mobile test market by introducing the FIRST cloud based Application test platform back in 2008. … CloudTest, which is installed at over 3,000 companies worldwide, has changed the web and mobile test market forever by reducing the time to test from (days into minutes), scale of test from (hundreds to millions of virtual users), and making it affordable to test by turning a manual process into an automated process reducing cost for corporations (from [multiple] millions into a SaaS-based solution costing hundreds of dollars per test). SOASTA customers include Verizon (S VZ), Netflix (S NFLX), Target (s tgt), and the Gilt Groupe have access to nearly 300,000 cloud-based test servers worldwide.

Image courtesy of Flickr user dailylifeofmojo.