UserTesting bolstering ML-driven UX testing with $1.3B acquisition by Sunstone, Thoma Bravo

by | Oct 27, 2022 | Technology

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Gaining insights into how users experience and make use of software used to only be possible by having humans do all the user testing. With the advent of modern sentiment analysis and machine learning (ML) techniques, more insight than ever before can be gained from testing.

UserTesting is among the pioneers in the space using ML techniques to help discover and analyze user behaviors. The past two years have been a whirlwind of activity for the company. In 2020, UserTesting raised $100 million in funding, and a year later in 2021 the company went public on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol USER.

Today, UserTesting announced that it has entered into an agreement to be acquired for $1.3 billion by Thoma Bravo and Sunstone Partners. When the deal closes, the plan is to merge UserZoom — which Thoma Bravo acquired in April 2022 — with UserTesting, to create an even larger set of capabilities for user experience testing.

“We are in a space where we’ve built a set of technologies for capturing a kind of feedback we call a customer experience narrative,” Andy MacMillan, CEO of UserTesting, told VentureBeat. “UserZoom has a set of additional different techniques and research methodologies that could supplement some of our customer experience narratives.”

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How UserTesting integrated ML

Over the last two years, UserTesting has made significant investments in technology that help it distill insights from its testing.

The testing involves recording users to see how they interact with applications, including what they click on, and having users narrate their experience. MacMillan said that his company invested in using ML to help extract insight out of the recorded user experience content.

“We’re really taking unstructured content, but turning it into something s …

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