Averail nabs $6M to secure workers that BYOD

Foundation Capital, Storm led first round of funding for stealth-mode mobile security company

Technology trends and news by Krystal Peak
March 20, 2012
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Mobile content management service Averail announced Tuesday that it raised $6 million in its first round of funding. This Series-A funding announcement, led by Foundation Capital and Storm Ventures, also marks the moment the company exited stealth mode.

Averail plans to make management of files across Android, iOS, and Windows Phone devices work better in the enterprise environment. Since companies share and use documents on multiple devices, there needs to be a better way to universally allow collaboration, and Averail wants to make that process easy enough that employees can use the device they want, when they want.

While some of the details have not been released, Averail does point out that companies managing sensitive data and documents face different challenges on mobile platforms than on PCs, so their solutions will be tailored to meet those mobile issues.

Approximately 70% of all smartphones are used for business purposes, according to market research firm IDC, and mobile tablet usage among businesspeople is also growing rapidly, but both trends are driving employee demand for access to more business information on mobile devices.

Founded in 2011 by mobile industry veterans John Drewry and Rahul Sharma, Averail’s initial round of funding will focus on advancing product development and expanding the organization.

Drewry previously held positions at Motorola and 3Com, and co-founded Orative, a mobile enterprise startup -- which was acquired by Cisco back in 2006. Sharma previously held senior engineering roles at Microsoft, Motorola and Sun Microsystems.

Menlo Park, Calif.-based Averail is also planing to announce a new software solution in coming months.

Back in November, we reported that one mobile security company, Fixmo, landed $23 million to help smartphone owners keep their mobile content safe.

As more people are using their own personal devices for work-related activities (also known as the Bring Your Own Device movement, or BYOD), there’s cause for some concern when it comes to security.  

The growing use of personal devices for work has resulted in the up-cropping of a number of mobile security companies that aim to curb the rate of security breaches, such as Lookout Mobile Security.   The Series-C funding in Novemver brought Fixmo’s total raised to some $31 million.

A recent report from Lookout Mobile Security estimates that three out of 10 Android devices will be hit with malware this year.  Android users are also twice as likely to encounter malware today than they were six months ago. 

And another report out November showed that the shift to considering your phone as a small computer with all the same features and capabilities is a great sign for retailers but a risky bet for shoppers. This is because most people install firewalls and security software for their computer but 72% of mobile shoppers admitted that they have no security software on their phones.

McAfee researchers estimate that the number of new mobile malware in 2010 increased by 46% in that year and is expected to affect 5% of devices in the net 1-2 years.

That may not seem like a staggering number, but with 23% of users including banking applications to their phone and more than a one in four shopping on their phones, this could lead to serious risks for identity theft.



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