Kandji, a new Apple MDM (mobile device management) solution that promises to go far beyond Apple’s base MDM protocol and other solutions on the market, emerged from stealth today with a $3.375 million seed investment. The product is also publicly available for the first time starting today.
The round, which closed in March, was led by First Round Capital with help from Webb Investment Network, Lee Fixel, John Glynn and other unnamed investors.
Company co-founder and CEO Adam Pettit says the company’s founders have a deep knowledge in Apple. They all worked at Apple before leaving to run an Apple IT consultancy for more than 10 years.
He said that while they were at the consultancy, they developed a proprietary stack of tools to help with highly sophisticated Apple device deployments at large organizations, and it occurred to them that there was an unserved market opportunity to turn that knowledge into a new product.
Two years ago they sold the consultancy, took that knowledge and built Kandji from the ground up. Pettit says the new product gives customers access to a set of management tools that they would have charged six figures to implement at that their old firm.
One of the key differentiators between Kandji and other MDM solutions, or even Apple’s base MDM functionality, is a set of one-click compliance tools. “We’re the only product that has almost 200 of these one-click policy frameworks we call parameters. So an organization can go in and browse by compliance framework, or we have pre-built templates for companies that don’t necessarily have a specific compliance mandate in mind,” he said.
The parameters have all of the tools built-in to automatically deploy a set of policies related to a given compliance framework without having to go through and manually set all of those different switches yourself. On the flip side, if you want to get granular and create your own parameters, you can do that too.
Mobile device management is a type of software that helps enterprise IT departments monitor and manage devices, and make sure they are in compliance with company security polices. In Kandji’s case, it applies to laptops, watches, phones, tablets and Apple TV boxes.
He says one of the reasons he and his partners were willing to give up the big-dollar consultancy was because they saw a huge opportunity for firms that couldn’t afford those kind of services, but still had relatively large Apple device deployments. “I mean there’s a big need outside of just the specific kind of sophisticated compliance work we would do [at our previous firm]. We saw this big need in general for an Apple MDM solution like ours,” he said.
After selling their previous firm, the founders bootstrapped for a year while they developed the initial version of Kandji before seeking funding. Today, the company has 16 employees and a set of initial customers that have been testing the product.