MobileSpaces Picks Up $3M From Accel To Let Workers Use Enterprise Apps On Their Own Phones

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With Apple’s iPhone and other Android devices quickly permeating the workforces of the country’s biggest companies, corporations are wrestling with how to let employees work from their own personal smartphones.

MobileSpaces is attacking this problem with a fresh $3 million in funding from Accel Partners. It creates a workspace or container app that employees can download from a store like Google Play, where they can securely access all of their companies’ data.

“How can an enterprise allow work applications to co-exist on an Android or iOS device and be able to govern their company’s information while respecting the employee’s privacy?” said David Goldschlag, who used to be the vice president of mobile at security giant McAfee. He estimates that about 40 percent of the mobile devices used in enterprises are personally owned.

Goldschlag says MobileSpaces’ product lets enterprise apps run safely and privately without compromising the security of a company’s information if, say, a phone gets lost or stolen. It also lets IT managers control data access with special passcodes, data-at-rest encryption and data wiping. MobileSpaces’ plan costs about $5 per device per month for a corporate client.

The Washington, D.C.-based company’s competitors are attacking this problem in either one of two ways. There are mobile device management companies like MobileIron, Zenprise and Air Watch, which lean more toward companies that buy fleets of dedicated corporate phones for their employees. Then there are companies that take more of a container strategy akin to what MobileSpaces is doing and focus on personal phones that are also simultaneously used for work.

Accel took the full round in the company and partner Rich Wong, who led the firm’s investments in AdMob and Angry Birds-maker Rovio is joining the company’s board.