Sauce Labs provides fast functional testing to developers using Selenium, an open source testing suite. The cool part is that it concurrently runs your tests across multiple versions of IE, Firefox, Safari, Chrome, and Opera. Developers can scan broken tests with visual playback of the test being run in that browser. The company is run by Steve Hazel, John Dunham, and Selenium creator Jason Huggins. With over 100 beta signups to date, the company hopes to take down established test vendors like Mercury Interactive as more and more development moves to the cloud. They're out for a small seed round of $500K and have the right DNA to get an initial toehold with agile developers.
uTest bills itself as 'the world's largest marketplace for software testing.' Since their launch last August, they've signed up 100 customers and lcosed a $5.2M Series B. Customers sign up for a free Utest account, identify their QA needs, and testers can apply to be part of the testing. The 16,000 testers currently available through the service have had to work their way up through the system - initially through the qualifying tests provided by uTest, and then through the development of a reputation score by working with uTest clients. This reminded me of companies like LiveOps (for customer service contractors) and Salesconx (for sales contractors) - there's definitely a trend for professional-level outsourcing outside of coding, as is seen by the emergence of new professional functions in developer marketplaces such as oDesk. If uTest can maintain service quality, this gets very interesting.
Zephyr is 'an on-demand software test management platform for the enterprise.' Zephyr targets both Fortune 1000 and mid-market companies that need to manage test lifecycles with global teams. They have 25 paying customers today ($65/user/month) - large companies such as AOL, Atlassian, CDW, and Lithium - and are working hard to add to that number in 2009. Though the product looks very robust, they will have a tough slog as they face off with established enterprise vendors such as BMC and IBM on the high end, and 'perceived free' solutions such as Excel in the mid market.