Genymobile Grabs $7.7 Million To Become The Red Hat Of Android

Genymobile started in France with an ambitious mission — becoming the unifying Android platform for the enterprise. The company just raised $7.7 million (€7 million) from Alven Capital, with Bpifrance also participating. It is currently working on three different products that makes using Android much easier when you are an Android developer, an IT manager or even an OEM. Genymobile works across all Android devices and makes Android’s well-known fragmentation issue a thing of the past.

“When we started Genymobile, Android was an obvious choice for us,” co-founder and co-CEO Arnaud Dupuis told me. “There were many mobile agencies, everybody wanted to have an app. But nobody is in charge of IT in these companies. We thought we would become the Red Hat of Android. We started by doing a bit of consulting work to keep us afloat. And then, we developed our own solution, Genymotion — Google’s own emulator wasn’t really professional at the time.”

While Genymobile is working on three different sets of tools, the company is still best known for its Android emulator, Genymotion. Now available under a freemium model, 3.3 million active users are using this emulator to develop an Android app. It lets you simulate many, many different scenarios without having to leave your computer.

With Genymotion, you can start a virtual device in a few clicks, track performances and simulate a call, a network drop or a degradation of the phone performance. And the emulator can simulate 3,500 different Android devices running Android versions from 2.3 to 5.1.

Many QA teams in big tech companies use Genymotion already, such as Samsung, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft and, yes, Google. Companies can get a license with all features for €300 per year per user. With 10,000 companies on board, you can imagine that Genymobile is already generating healthy revenue from this first product.

Genymobile also released Genydeploy, a deployment tool for IT departments. Instead of manually installing your company’s apps, APN settings and VPN profiles before handing out an Android phone to your employees, Genydeploy let’s you plug a few phones to your computer, hit start and install everything in just a minute.

As co-founder and co-CEO Angélique Zettor told me, IT departments used to spend nights manually configuring just a few phones. It drastically speeds up this process.

Finally, the company is working on a third tool called Genymaster. This time, it lets companies create tailor-made Android masters. For instance, you can add Ethernet support and give USB-to-Ethernet dongles to your employees, customize the OS with your own branding, and manage over-the-air updates so that you can make sure that an Android update won’t break anything with your company’s apps.

These are very low levels customizations, and only a team of engineers who know Android inside out can provide this kind of service. This team is even more valuable than the company’s products. In some ways, it feels incredible that Google doesn’t provide the best Android emulator and deployment solutions for the enterprise. But Genymobile took advantage of this hole in Google’s strategy, and it seems to be working out so far.