Two of Seattle’s top venture capital firms are tossing their support behind Mobilisafe, a stealthy Bellevue startup led by former T-Mobile software architects Giri Sreenivas and Dirk Sigurdson. Madrona Venture Group and Trilogy Equity Partners have invested $1.2 million in the company, money that the upstart will use to boost hiring as it builds out its first product.
At a very high level, Sreenivas said that they are a building a security solution to help companies deal with employees’ mobile devices on the corporate network.
“There are a lot of consumers out there that are buying smartphones and they are bringing them to corporate networks and getting access to corporate data,” Sreenivas tells GeekWire. “And we are just looking at building a simple solution to help companies with the problems of these mobile devices coming to their networks.”
Since smartphones are not being issued by the companies, Sreenivas added that in many cases IT managers “don’t really know what’s going on with them.”
Startup companies like Lookout are helping stop viruses from spreading to mobile phones. But the consumer-focused company, which raised $19.5 million last December, isn’t as focused on the problem of helping corporations with mobile device management. Lookout also is backed by Trilogy.
A closer rival appears to be MobileIron. On Thursday, it reeled in $20 million in financing from Foundation Capital, Norwest Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital and Storm Ventures. The Silicon Valley company says that its platform was “built from the ground up to help global companies secure and manage mobile devices and apps in an increasingly complex environment.”
Sreenivas declined to comment on possible competitors.
Sreenivas and Sigurdson met in 2008 while at T-Mobile where they led the company’s Android engineering efforts. Both are natives of the Pacific Northwest who previously worked in the Bay Area. They founded Mobilisafe earlier this year, and plan to have more details on its technology in the coming months.
As a result of the investment, Madrona’s Tim Porter and Trilogy’s Yuval Neeman have joined the board. Seattle entrepreneur and security expert Todd Hooper also is advising the company.
Both Madrona and Trilogy have plenty of experience backing startups in the mobile space. Madrona’s wireless investments include SinglePoint, Sewichi and Z2Live.
Trilogy, led by wireless pioneer John Stanton, has made a number of bets on wireless startups in the region over the years. (Dashwire, Root Metrics, etc.).
Madrona and Trilogy also have worked together in the past, helping to create the Alliance of Angels “side car” fund for angel investments in the region.