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US private equity fund Thoma Bravo to buy Israeli-founded Applitools

Headquartered in California, Applitools provides software engineers with AI-based and cloud-powered solutions to help automate functional and visual testing for their apps

Shoshanna Solomon is The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

The Applitools software in action (YouTube screenshot)
The Applitools software in action (YouTube screenshot)

Thoma Bravo, the US private equity investment fund, said it has made a strategic investment in Israeli-founded startup Applitools, a provider of visual test automation software. Financial details were not disclosed, though Calcalist reported that the deal is for $250 million.

The announcement follows on the heels on last week’s news that Israel’s ironSource, an advertising technology firm, will merge with the US fund’s publicly traded special purpose acquisition company Thoma Bravo Advantage in a transaction that values ironSource at a whopping $11.1 billion.

Applitools co-founders Gil Sever, Adam Carmi, and Moshe Milman will continue to hold “a significant ownership position in the company,” the statement on Tuesday said.

Founded in 2013 and headquartered in San Mateo, California, Applitools provides software engineers with AI-based and cloud-powered solutions to help automate functional and visual testing for their applications and ensure a better user experience.

Applitools co-founder and CEO Gil Sever (YouTube Screenshot)

The company’s Visual AI platform uses computer vision algorithms, enabling engineering teams to rapidly write, run, analyze, and maintain tests to ultimately release high quality applications at higher speed and reduced cost.

The investment will enable Applitools to use Thoma Bravo’s operating capabilities and experience in the software sector “to accelerate its already impressive growth trajectory and further scale its innovative, market-leading platform,” the statement said.

“As digital transformation accelerates, more and more software developers are turning to Applitools’ cross-environment testing solutions to build and verify high quality software applications users can trust,” said Gil Sever, CEO of Applitools. “At this moment of dynamic change, businesses are looking for peace of mind and reliable, AI-augmented toolkits to maintain continuity across digital touchpoints.”

The partnership with Thoma Bravo will allow the firm “to double down on our significant business momentum, drive continued product innovation and take our unique technology to new heights,” he said.

“Applitools is solving problems that developers, quality engineers, and digital product owners face every day, and we are thrilled to be partnering with the team as they continue to define and expand the visual and functional test automation market using groundbreaking Visual AI and cross-browser testing technologies,” said Annie Wei, a vice president at Thoma Bravo.

Applitools has offices in Tel Aviv, Israel and Melbourne, Australia.

Thoma Bravo managed more than $76 billion in assets, as of end December, and is focused on the software and technology-enabled services sectors.

This is Thoma Bravo’s fourth deal with an Israeli or Israeli-founded firm: in 2018 it acquired cybersecurity firm Imperva for $2.5 billion; its US data analytics subsidiary Qlik acquired US-Israeli software services provider Attunity Ltd. in 2019 for some $560 million in a cash deal; and last week the fund announced the ironSource deal.

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