Last October, Google invested $12 million in a series B round, betting on a start-up called Enterproid. That company changed its name to Divide, and last week Google took the next step and acquired the company, which makes a popular iOS and Android app for securing confidential business information on mobile devices.
Divide provides more that file sync-and-share, offering a secure connection to email, contacts, and calendar information, as well as other data accessed through partners’ offerings. Obviously, these offerings include Google’s, like Gmail, Google Calendar, and Hangouts.
Google’s reasoning here is pretty obvious: the company is trying to strengthen its position in the enterprise marketplace for BYOD solutions. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, and the team will be joining Google’s mobile team.
Divide has a free version, and a $60 per year solution that offers administrative controls, like remote wipe of data.
This acquisition is an effort by Google to respond to growing competition in the marketplace, like Dropbox’s recent announcement of a two-headed client, allowing users to manage both personal and business files in one account (see Dropbox for Business is only the start: next, work management and office apps).
Note that Divide has integrations with a wide range of companies, including Box, and through a partnership with Averail Divide has connections to Sharepoint, Dropbox, Salesforce.com and Office365. Another partnership with MobiSystems means that Divide customers can view and edit Office documents with OfficeSuite.
Secure management of company information on mobile devices is the cutting edge of the challenge for enterprise IT today. There is nothing that can support the needs of a mobile workforce more than the ability to perform critical work on smartphones and tablets, and nothing that frightens IT administrators more. That’s why Google moved ahead and acquired the small start up it had invested in.