Autify launches Zenes, an AI agent for software quality assurance

With the advent of generative AI, AI applications are transforming and reshaping various industries and changing how people work. Software development is no exception.

San Francisco- and Tokyo-based startup Autify has built an autonomous AI agent for software quality assurance to help software engineers complete code quickly, streamline workflows and increase productivity. In other words, it’s built an AI QA engineer for software engineers.

The startup announced Monday that it had closed a $13 million Series B round and rolled out its beta version of Zenes, an AI agent for software quality assurance tailored for customers in the U.S. The Series B funding brings its total raised to $30 million, which consists of $24 million in equity and $6 million in debt financing.

Global Capital Partners and LG Technology Ventures co-led the latest round, along with existing backers World Innovation Lab (WiL), Salesforce Ventures, Archetype Venture and Uncorrelated Ventures.

In 2016, two former software engineers, Ryo Chikazawa (CEO) and Sam Yamashita, co-founded Autify after they experienced firsthand the pain point of software testing lengths. To address this issue, Autify has built a platform called Autify NoCode, which enables developers and QA teams to improve efficiency and enhance the software quality engineering process, ultimately saving time and resources.

NoCode caters to users in Japan and South Korea who heavily rely on manual testing. Currently in beta, Autify’s newly launched Zenes is specifically designed for U.S.-based customers.

Zenes “generates test cases by analyzing product requirement documents, writes automated test codes and maintains the test codes automatically,” according to the company. The company claims that Zenes significantly reduces the time to create test cases by 55%, a feature that sets it apart in the market.

“Companies that have been heavily investing in automation by writing code don’t need to adapt to no-code/[low-code] because they can code. However, they are still suffering from the lack of resources,” Chikazawa said, adding that the companies expect generative AI to make their work more productive. “With the launch of Zenes, now we can capture an even earlier stage of software quality assurance which is designing and creating test cases and we will be able to provide a comprehensive end-to-end solution for the entire QA process.”

This is how Zene works: Users can upload their product requirement documents in various formats, including .html, .pdf, .docx, and .md. The agent then generates a set of outlined test cases covering the product specs. Users can edit these test cases in order to improve the accuracy of the following steps. After any edits have been made, Zenes generates automated test codes.

“We believe that AI is not here to replace humans. It’s here to enhance human capability so that we can be more creative. The software development process and its quality assurance will be redefined with generative AI,” Chikazawa said.

The startup will use the new capital to implement more AI capabilities to support customers’ software QA, Chikazawa told TechCrunch. In addition, the startup has partnered with LG CNS, an IT service unit of LG Corp, to expand into the Korean market, along with its core markets, the U.S. and Japan.

Autify did not disclose the number of customers but said it offers its services in 16 countries now, up from two countries in 2021, when it raised its Series A. Autify has B2C and B2B customers, including DeNA, NEC, NTT Smart Communication, Yahoo and ZoZo. Its staff has also more than tripled from 30 in 2021 to 100.

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