Apple acquires Canadian mobile app testing startup Buddybuild

Apple Inc. has acquired Buddybuild, a Vancouver, Canada-based startup that offers tools to help developers build and test mobile apps.

Founded in 2015, Buddybuild, formally Doe Pics Hit Inc., offers a platform that ties together continuous integration and delivery and provides iterative feedback to help developers more easily create mobile apps.

The platform, which the company claims takes only minutes to set up, allows developers to kick off a new build and run tests for any app with each code change, hence the “continuous integration and delivery” promise. The platform also integrates support for testing, allowing testers to send feedback along with diagnostic details to help resolve issues. The platform supports code sharing on GitHub, GitLab and BitBucket including running of user interface tests along with beta testing and deployment to Apple’s TestFlight service.

Unusually for an Apple acquisition deal, both companies confirmed the deal. Apple told TechCrunch the team will remain in Canada and the Buddybuild platform will be rolled into Apple development suite Xcode. In a separate statement, Buddybuild said that though it would continue to support existing paid customers, “Free Starter” plans and Android app development will be discontinued on March 1.

Buddybuild isn’t Apple’s first app development acquisition. It acquired Burstly Inc., the company behind the iOS testing platform TestFlight, in 2014. That service today operates as Apple’s online service for over-the-air installation and testing of mobile applications offered to developers in the iOS Developer Program. On paper, at least, Buddybuild would add to what TestFlight currently offers with a deeper range of developer options and support for app developers covering Apple’s range of mobile operating systems.

The price of the deal wasn’t disclosed. Buddybuild had raised $8.8 million from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, First Round Capital, Bloomberg Beta, Amplify Partners and a number of individual investors, including Mike Vernal, Dave Johnson, Steve Garrity and Douglas Purdy.

Image: Buddybuild