Apperian, a Boston, Ma.-based maker of a platform that helps companies to build, deploy and control enterprise mobile apps, announced Tuesday it has closed $9.5 million in VC funding from North Bridge Venture Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers’ iFund, CommonAngels and LaunchCapital. The company is hoping to take advantage of enterprise mobility boom, with an increasing number of firms equipping their employees with smartphones and tablets and seeking ways to make their employees more productive with those devices.
The company’s EASE (Enterprise App Services Environment) platform helps in-house enterprise developers to create secure apps that can be distributed, updated, managed and provisioned for an entire organization. EASE can currently be used to build apps for iPhone and iPad, with Android support due shortly. It allows for enterprise IT staff to create their own App Store-like “App Catalog” to distribute and manage apps and control their availability, while users get easy one-click over-the-air app install via a familiar interface.
Apperian is hoping that as smartphone and tablet usage grows within the enterprise, an increasing number of firms will be looking to build in-house “business to worker” apps, to connect employees to mission-critical processes and data and improve productivity on-the-go. The growth in mobile device usage at work is being driven partly by the bring-your-own-device trend, where employees bring their own tablets and handsets into work. But it’s also increasingly being driven by formal IT adoption, too. According to recent a recent Forrester survey of 2,300 IT executives, 26 percent of enterprises in Canada, France, Germany, the U.K. and the U.S. are using or planning for tablets currently, while Deloitte estimates that firms will purchase some 10 million tablets this year, predicting more than a quarter of all tablets sold will be bought by companies.
As enterprise mobility booms, Apperian isn’t the only company looking to tap the opportunities in a growing market. Companies like Salesforce are already betting big on mobility, while there are also new players entering the market: Mobiquity Inc., a company that will focus on developing mobile strategy on iPhone, iPad, Android and BlackBerry for Global 2000 companies, this morning launched with $5 million in funding from Longworth Venture Partners of Waltham and Sigma Partners of Boston. I bet this space gets more interesting as RIM and Cicso launch their own tablets specifically for the enterprise market.