How Rainforest turned a 'bad idea' into $16 million raised

Josiah Motley · May 5, 2016 · Short URL:

Now employs 58,000 testers around the world

Rainforest started back in 2012, but its core product just wasn't attracting the attention needed to sustain a business. The service monitored company spending on Amazon Web Service (AWS). Generally speaking, it wasn't needed, at least not in the capacity CEO Fred Stevens-Smith would have liked.

An entrepreneur is only as good as their ability to pivot. After sending out emails to CEOs, Rainforest beta testers, and friends asking what kind of services they'd be willing to pay $1,000 a month for, Rainforest found their new niche, Quality Assurance.

Jump to 2016, and Rainforest has surpassed their original service price of $1,000 and now charges $10,000/month for basic plans. They found their spot in the market and business boomed. So what exactly does Rainforest do? At its core they provide quality assurance for businesses. By using sites like Crowdflower for testing, Rainforest is able to test an app's features or design in a blistering fast 30 minutes or less. With such fast and accurate results, Rainforest has managed to raise $16 million in funding, with $12 million coming from Bessemer Venture Partners. 

It works like this: clients sign up through Rainforest, connect with a company representative who guides them through some basics and helps pinpoint what needs testing. From there, a simple push of a button causes the work order to be sent out automatically to sites like Amazon Mechanical Turk and Crowdflower. Testers, people who are signed up for these sites, accept the jobs and complete them for money. The payout is done automatically as well, and ranges from a couple dollars per hour to up to $8 an hour depending on how many tasks the testers have previously completed.

It really goes to show how entrepreneurs should never give up. Success is literally just one pivot away. Find out more about Rainforest here.

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Josiah Motley

Contributor at various blogs, with a focus on tech, apps, gadgets, and gaming.

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