Hackathons don’t often produce startup success stories, but Lithuanian TrackDuck is one of the few to have turned into a company with genuine potential. This startup was created at the Garage48 hackathon in March 2013 as a visual bug-tracking service, came out with a prototype just 3 months after the event, and then formally launched in January of this year.
CEO Edmundas Balcikonis, who founded the company with Yauhen Ivashkevich and Anton Shevchenko, tells me that the idea for the company came from frustration with work-related problems. Namely, the Belarusian Shevchenko was working as an art director for a digital agency in Lithuania, but found himself unable to really connect with clients as he spoke no Lithuanian and limited English. Experiencing frequent difficulties in responding to the demands of clients, they decided to develop a service to simplify the process of submitting feedback and collaborating on developer issues.
TrackDuck is billed as an SaaS designed to streamline the process of reporting bugs or issues by business owners. The service is designed to allow small and medium-sized businesses to comment and report issues to developers without needing any special knowledge or installing any particular software. They can simply register their site, download the Chrome or Firefox extension, and begin using the service. TrackDuck allows business owners to highlight parts of the page, comment, and receive feedback in real-time. Historically, this process has involved taking screenshots of the issue, sending it by email as an attachment, and often deal with significant time differences in order to resolve the matter. TrackDuck does allow customers to submit screenshots, but they are working to provide real-time collaboration without unnecessary steps. Right now, they are developing an iOS app, developing plugins for Jira, Drupal, and Modx, and creating new pricing plans as they continue to build their business.
The primary competitors for TrackDuck are probably Austrian Usersnap, founded in 2013, and Australian BugHerd, which launched in 2011. The difference between the 3 services mainly comes down to price, as one project would cost $228 annually through Usersnap (or $22/month if the user does not want an annual subscription) or would be completely free with TrackDuck. BugHerd offers support for unlimited projects, but starts at $29 per month.