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Startup LaunchDarkly Lets Companies Soft Launch Features & Gets $2.6M

LaunchDarkly is not so much in the dark anymore, following its funding of $2.6 million. The startup LaunchDarkly is designed to help companies test new features in a soft launch format. They roll out features to a small user group to help the bigger company learn about the user experience; then the big firm can decide how to modify the product to better it before the more public launch.

The startup is bringing to those bigger companies the tools they require to test product features. Since it left beta last month, it has reached about $2.6 million in funding. The money is to go toward bettering its tools.

LaunchDarkly began in 2014 and was co-founded by Edith Harbaugh. When she met with developers, including a former Amazon director, Harbaugh found many people were upset they didn’t have the same testing tools available to them as did other companies. Harbaugh had been part of bad releases and realized that ultimately it was the user feedback that helped things go better. While quality assurance and usability studies were helpful, the main assistance was the user’s feedback.

Thus, Harbaugh co-founded LaunchDarkly with John Kodumal. The two had gone to school together, and Kodumal had a PH.D. in statistics and computer science. They created a company from the initial idea and got investors on board, including SoftTech VC to be able to get the operations going.

Both large companies and startups have used the tool so far. LaunchDarkly is a software as a service company with a subscription model for its tools. The tools are currently only being used on SaaS companies and commerce businesses, but it could have huge implications in the tech realm in the future too. For example, testing of video games would work well on a live user group to work out bugs before the public launch.

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