Visage Mobile, which helps enterprises manage their mobile devices, closed a $3.6 million round of funding. The round was once again led by Qualcomm Ventures and follows an initial investment of $4.5 million in February.
The company is now approaching a customer list of 200 businesses of various sizes and hopes to finish 2011 with double that amount, says CEO Tim Weingarten.
He admits that selling software into IT departments is a notoriously difficult space to pry open. In order to succeed, “it has to be a pain killer. It can’t be a vitamin,” he says.
Toward that end, enterprises apparently are looking to the software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution provider to help them solve a number of problems related to mobile devices as more employees bring smartphones into the enterprise. If pressed to name one main area, Weingarten says enterprises want visibility and control – to know how much they’re spending, who owns what and whether employees are using the right devices.
One of the things investors like is the fact Visage is not limited to a niche or vertical in terms of industry or size – some of its customers are in the Fortune 500 bracket. Complexities get severe enough at around 100 or 150 devices that companies seek an automated software system to manage everything.
Of course, investors are focused on growth, and that’s what Visage has in mind. Visage plans to invest on the R&D side of the house, in part to expand functionality and respond to customer requests for new, as-yet-unannounced, features. Weingarten expects to exit 2011 as a profitable company, growing the employee base from 30 to the low 40s over the next 12 months.
Weingarten says it’s hard to pinpoint a direct competitor – Visage’s main competition comes from the current mechanisms that corporations are using today. Until corporations decide they need a dedicated SaaS, the primary competition is “inertia,” he says.