Mobile data optimization is by no means a new business. Ever since the advent of the iPhone, startups and big network equipment makers alike have promised to transrate, compress and cull extraneous video frames, image resolution and Java script from congested mobile networks.
Invariably those companies have targeted the mobile carriers that run those networks, but a new startup called Wandera is focusing its MDO technology on the people who get stuck paying those data bills: enterprises. Wandera has attracted the attention of Bessemer Venture Partners, which lately has been investing heavily in the telecom and mobile infrastructure space. Bessemer is the sole investor in Wandera’s Series A round, forking over $7 million.
Wandera was founded by Eldar and Roy Tuvey, two brothers from London who created security software-as-a-service company ScanSafe and sold it to Cisco Systems in 2010 for $183 million. After working for Cisco for two years, the Tuveys decided to return to the SaaS model with a new startup, this time selling optimization rather than security software to their enterprise clients.
Eldar Tuvey said Wandera has built what is in essence a cloud proxy server through which all phone-bound HTTP traffic is routed on its way to an enterprise’s mobile devices. During that traffic’s brief stay in that cloud, Wandera applies any number of optimization and compression techniques intended to reduce the amount of data that flows over the airwaves to those devices – and ultimately reduce the mobile data bill the company has to pay each month.
But Tuvey said Wandera is providing more than just a megabyte-culling data grinder. It’s developed a sophisticated set of monitoring and control tools that allows an enterprise to keep tabs on what apps, webpages and services its employees are using and to apply specific policies on that use.
For instance, an enterprise could set strict limits on social networking use, banning it outright or imposing caps on the amount of data an employee can consume in the Facebook app. Or it could prohibit video streaming when employees are roaming internationally, but allow it when they’re on their home networks.
Tuvey said enterprises can even go so far as to apply specific optimization features depending on the app used. So a company could let employees consume as much video or social networking content as they please — as long as they’re willing to put up with choppy frame rates and pixelated images.
“They can implement whatever policies they see fit,” Tuvey said. “It’s completely up to the company.”