Mobile Device Management start-up AirWatch announced at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona that it has raised a massive series A round of $200 million (£132m), led by Insight Venture Partners.
This is the biggest investment in an enterprise company so far in 2013, according to Business Insider, and comes at a time when start-up investment in general is gathering pace. CrunchBase shows that there have been 65 seed deals of $1 million or more since the start of 2012.
Mobile Device Management (MDM) software is itself a growing area, helping organisations to cope with the influx of new devices into the workplace by enabling over-the-air distribution of applications, data and configuration settings. It plays a key role in the transition to bring-your-own-device (BYOD) within organisations.
AirWatch competes against the likes of Good Technology, MobileIron, Absolute Software and Zenprise in this space. The MDM market was worth over $500 million in 2012, according to Gartner, an the pace of growth is expected to increase this year.
Airwatch currently has 6,000 clients, and claims to be adding another 500 every month.
Its customers include the top three global Fortune companies, the top four global energy companies, six of the top 10 global airlines, six of the top 10 global pharmaceutical companies, seven of the top 10 global consumer product companies, five of the top 10 global luxury goods companies, and two of the top three global hotel groups.
The new Series A investment will be used to fund strategic acquisitions, accelerate global growth and drive innovation and adoption of AirWatch's content collaboration solution, Secure Content Locker.
“With an enhanced balance sheet and greater financial strength providing much more stability than our competition, this investment is a significant step to reinforce our solutions during a critical market pivot,” said John Marshall, president and CEO, AirWatch.
Jeff Horing, managing director, Insight Venture Partners, added: “The mobile enterprise market is experiencing explosive growth, and AirWatch has emerged as the market’s leading device management solution, without raising any outside capital.
“As the first institutional investors we hope to support AirWatch’s strong growth trajectory and further strengthen the company’s leadership in the field.”