Born during the turmoil in Egypt in 2012, Egyptian startup Instabug now claims to serve 700 million users worldwide, a staggering 10% of the world population with clients including eBay, SoundCloud, PayPal, and Hilton.
Instabug tracks mobile software bugs by enabling app developers to fix bugs before submitting their apps to the store. Users can also report bugs by a simple shaking of their phones.
Instabug was launched in 2012 from the Silicon Valley-based seed accelerator Y Combinator Winter Class program last year.
With more than 40 software engineers now on the team, the company, with offices in Cairo and San Francisco, is now focusing on building fully fledged tools to aid mobile developers.
“Instabug believes the MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab was the catalyst that helped them realise their potential,” said Yasmine Helmy, growth marketer at Instabug.
Participating in the 2013 MIT Arab Startup Competition, Instabug was trying to raise money to develop the app further and acquire more users. When the team heard about the competition from a newsletter at Flat6Labs, they decided to apply.
The team not only looked to raise money, but also sought experts’ feedback, mentorship, and access to desired market. “When we landed in Qatar we realised that not only do we want to push through and make something out of Instabug, but we want to go above and beyond,” Helmy added.
The competition was held in Qatar in 2013. It enabled the founders to gather immense feedback and advice and motivated them to roll up their sleeves and take Instabug to the next level. Instabug won first place in the startups track, taking home $50,000.
“The competition was tough; all startups were really impressive. We’ve done extraordinary efforts preparing for every single pitch to any of the judges as if it were the last. Our efforts are slowly paying off,” says Instabug founder Omar Gabr.
Instabug didn’t stop there—they were selected as one of 12 startups to participate in the MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab Silicon Valley program in September 2016. The Silicon Valley program provides networking opportunities to the top entrepreneurs from the region and a chance to receive feedback from leading investors and experts in the tech field.
“The best thing about MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab is that once you are in, you are in for good, and that no matter what you need, the team will always be there helping out the entrepreneurs as much as they can,” said Helmy.