With the rise of smartphones, tablets and laptops, the workplace is becoming increasingly mobile. And while that’s creating new efficiencies, it is also creating new challenges in terms of how workers communicate and work together. Moprise, a 2-year-old Bellevue startup co-founded by former Microsofties Charles Stevens, Russell Williams and David D’Souza, is looking to solve that problem.
And the upstart has just landed $500,000 — including cash from the Alliance of Angels — to help pave the way. The cash infusion will be used to support today’s release of Coaxion, a free iPhone application that’s designed to help groups of workers make collaborative decisions while in the office or on the go. The app allows for access to Microsoft SharePoint and Dropbox documents as well as real-time instant messaging and email.
“Whether a company has already moved to the cloud or are utilizing another IT environment, they can easily bring business documents from enterprise servers or email into the conversation so that everyone can follow along, make changes and archive the communications – all in a secure environment,” the company writes in a product description.
That sounds a bit like Yammer, and our previous profile of Bellevue’s MangoSpring, both of which are trying to bring group collaboration to the enterprise. As we’ve noted in the past, there’s certainly no shortage of competition in the online collaboration arena, and mobile is an increasingly hot sub-segment.
Moprise, which employs five people, is led by D’Souza who previously held positions in the Microsoft Windows and Mobile groups. The company’s chairman is Charles Stevens, the former Microsoft Corporate Vice President of the Enterprise Sales and Partner Group.
This marks the first capital raise for Moprise. The company is working on versions of Coaxion for the iPad and other mobile platforms.
UPDATE: I asked D’Souza for more info about the competitive landscape and here’s what he had to say:
The competition in the enterprise collaboration area is fractured. Coaxion is addressing this in a unique fashion. We realize corporations have invested billions into their existing back office infrastructure and that data isn’t migrating overnight. Coaxion works with the existing IT infrastructure unlike products like box or Hyperoffice which require IT to move data into some other infrastructure.
We sometimes get compared to social enterprise environments like SharePoint and Yammer. The social enterprise is focused on Twitter-like broadcasts instead of private, secure groups. These applications are optimized to the web desktop and not truly mobile optimized with rich native applications.