Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Mobile Enterprise Startup Workspot Lets Employees Securely Work From Whatever Device They Want
Mobile enterprise startups are like unicorns. Nearly every VC I talk to wants to have a bet in this space, yet there really aren’t that many new candidates each year. Everyone knows that workers are bringing their own devices to work and want to use their personal tablets or phones instead of clunky, employer-mandated devices. Yet employers want to make sure that corporate data remains secure and trackable. Enter Workspot, a startup backed by Kleiner Perkins, Norwest Venture Partners and Redpoint, that’s debuting today at TechCrunch Disrupt in New York. “We’re simplifying bring-your-own-devices for the enterprise,” said co-founder Ty Wang. “The biggest problem that most companies have is that people love these devices. They’re bringing them into work, but they can’t get their work done because the apps the they need like Microsoft’s Sharepoint, are still behind corporate firewalls.” Wang said older competitors that do mobile device management have solutions that lock the entire device down, that make them unusable in other situations. Instead, Workspot’s solution is a consumer app that an employee can download through the regular iOS app store. It gives them streamlined access to all of their work apps, requiring just a basic log-in with password. (That’s after a one-time authentication with their work’s network security appliance.) The company supports four of the leading VPN providers like Cisco and Juniper, which cover about 80 percent of the market and let workers log-in remotely into corporate networks. Employers can easily add in new apps for their employees to use from a control dashboard. Wang said the process takes a few minutes. “With most of the solutions today, you’d need to set up this system, go through a whole new testing cycle and all kinds of process to add apps,” he said. The product is actually free for end-users, and Workspot monetizes through offering employers two paid services. One is something called Insights, which gives them analytics into how their workers are using their software and the other is called Events, which gives the employer total visibility into all end-user activity for compliance and auditing. For those two services, the company charges anywhere from $150 a month for 0 to 25 users to $4 per user per month for companies with more than 250 employees. The company has raised $1.9 million from Kleiner, Norwest and others and has 11 employees. Their team has a wealth of experience in enterprise.