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This startup wants to change how products are built and just raised £350,000

Maze, a London-based startup, has raised £350,000 in pre-Seed round led by early-stage funds Partech and Seedcamp.

The startup says it is able to perform quantitative user-testing during the product design phase in a bid to provide designers with actionable KPIs.

By doing so, Maze says it is seeking to change how digital products are built by allowing designers and product teams to iterate quickly and effectively.

Maze was co-founded by Jonathan Widawski, ex UX lead at BAM; and Thomas Mary, a former lead developer and architect.

The serial entrepreneurs came up with the idea while working on their previous startup: “We had an in-depth prototype of the product and 1,500 users in our waiting list eager to try it out. We looked at the market for solutions allowing us to easily send the prototype to our testers, but only found qualitative, video-based recording tools: we didn’t have the time nor the resources to spend 500 hours looking at footages to extract insights. That’s what got us started on our path to create Maze: a data-driven approach to design validation”.

Mary continued: “The current design process creates a lot of frustration for product teams. Developers end up re-building features instead of implementing new ones simply because the initial design provided doesn’t work. This leads to a long and extremely costly iteration loop that could easily be solved by validating interfaces earlier.”

The team says its already partnered with prototyping tools InVision and Marvel.

Additionally, Maze claims to have more than 2,000 users, including designers from tech giants including Uber, Ebay, IBM, Microsoft and Mastercard).

Widawski commented “At Maze we think that user testing solutions don’t align with today’s lean and agile way of building product, and we are convinced that our tool will help solve this. We want to make user-testing & user-research streamlined & affordable for designers, finally giving them a seat at the table when it comes to data.”

Boris Golden who led the investment for Partech spoke about the investment: “The vision of Maze is totally inevitable. After so many years of evangelization about the importance of reducing the feedback loop (notably via the ‘lean startup’ movement), it is amazing that nobody has come up yet with what Maze is doing! Bringing a data-driven and quantitative mindset to the design world has the potential to create huge business value, but also to remove the pain of navigating in the dark and wasting energy, as many designers, product managers and developers experience daily! And beyond the vision, we are huge fans of the team that has the right mix of talent to make this happen.”

On the investment, Seedcamp venture partner Devin Hunt, concluded, “Maze has transformed user testing, one of the most laborious aspects of product design, into a simple, fast, and quantifiable experience. Once you use it, you can’t imagine not having Maze in your design toolkit. I can’t wait to see the impact Maze will have on the product design profession. Suffice to say, we’re very excited to welcome Maze to the Seedcamp Nation.”