Companies that provide platforms and tools to secure and manage mobile devices saw venture capital funding grow 118% YoY.
Companies increasingly trust, even if begrudgingly, their employees to carry out a number of work-related functions on their personal mobile devices. The emergence of the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) phenomenon brings a laundry list of mobile threats ranging from mobile malware to spear phishing to WiFi hacking. As these threats continue to expand, venture capital investors are pouring dollars into the Mobile Device Management space. MDM refers to businesses that provide software and services used by IT departments and individuals to protect and track mobile devices and applications across multiple service providers and operators both in and out of the workplace. These venture-backed technologies span from mobile app firewalls to fingerprint sensors to full-service cloud management platforms.
Over the last year, the mobile device management and security space has seen nearly $537M in venture capital financing across 53 deals. With momentum from enterprise MDM provider, NQ Mobile’s 2011 IPO, YoY funding through Q1’13 has soared 118%. The funding tallies were buoyed by AirWatch’s $200M Series A round in January. At the same time, YoY deal growth in the MDM and security space has accelerated 56%, with each of the last four quarters seeing over 10 deals.
Early stage deals (Angel/Seed/Series A) made up more than half of all deal activity in the past two years, with newly seeded companies in 2013 including Armor5 and Nxt-ID. At the late-stage, more than one out of every 5 deals in the last two years came at the Series D or E+ stages. Rumored IPO candidate Good Technology, for example, raised a $50M Series E round from investors including Crosslink Capital and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in April.
The exit landscape is accelerating as both large security vendors including McAfee and Symantec and traditional tech companies such as Microsoft and Twitter have all acquired smaller MDM start-ups that add to their strategic MDM offerings.
In the last year, 22 MDM or mobile security companies were acquired, ranging from Citrix System’s $355M acquisition of Zenprise last December to Rapid7’s October acquisition of Mobilisafe, which had raised from Madrona Venture Group and Trilogy Equity Partnership prior to exit.