[Funding Alert] Android Device Management Platform Provider Esper Raises $7.6 Mln In Series A Funding The company said it would use the new funds for product development and to expand its customer base in India and the United States.

By Debroop Roy

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Esper Co-Founders Shiv Sundar and Yadhu Gopalan

Esper, an Android device management and deployment platform provider, has raised $7.6 million in a Series A round led by US-based venture capital firm Madrona Venture Group. The round also saw the participation of Root Ventures, Ubiquity Ventures, Haystack Ventures, and Pathbreaker Ventures.

"We are excited to have the full support of these investors to expand our team and further scale our business to help customers move beyond Mobile Device Management into true device orchestration," said Esper co-founder and chief executive officer Yadhu Gopalan.

Madrona is well-known for being an early investor in Jeff Bezos' Amazon.com in 1995.

The company said it would use the new funds for product development and to expand its customer base in India and the United States.

How It Started

Both Gopalan and the other co-founder Shiv Sundar spent several years at global tech giant Microsoft, building its Windows Phone capabilities. Prior to founding Esper, Shiv was the director of global android strategy for Huawei while Gopalan was a senior manager at Amazon Web Services.

Two years ago, Shiv said he took a one-way flight to Bengaluru, with his entrepreneurial itch firmly in place, and a willingness to jump into the Indian start-up ecosystem. "My motivation was to build something for India," he said in an interview with Entrepreneur India.

He felt the number of Android devices coming to India was massive and there was an urgent need for a platform to help manage these devices. After getting fairly great reception to his idea from investors here, he went back to Silicon Valley and managed to get even better terms.

What It Does

Founded in 2018, Esper provides an intelligent cloud platform to help enterprises deploy and scale Android devices, as well as manage applications and devices in real-time. The company's full-stack solution enables clients to develop, manage and monitor devices securely across different versions of Android and device types.

While a large part of its customer base is in the US, Esper's clients in India include leading companies in the retail, logistics, hospitality and healthcare space. It has ongoing partnerships with MediaTek, Lenovo, and Zebra for hardware development and devices. Globally, the company currently has over 60 customers, about 20 of which are in India.

The company, which works on a platform-as-a-service model, earns by charging for each device on a monthly basis.

Developed in India

It took about 12 months to make the platform ready for deployment, according to Shiv. They started their operations in both countries in June last year.

On operations in India, chief operating officer Shiv said, "India is not an emerging market anymore and people really understand why we have a two-market approach." The company, which currently has a strength of about 50, has 40 people working out of their Bengaluru office.

In the next nine months, the plan is to double the number of hires, said Shiv.

Going Forward

The company is currently working on what it calls "deployment automation'. "You are building something, you want to push, it goes from one device to ten to a hundred devices automatically. It's like an automated way of deploying software to these devices, that will be like our value proposition," Shiv said.

The goal with the platform is to bring in efficiency wherein the resources necessary to manage devices get reduced, he added.

Debroop Roy

Former Correspondent

Covering the start-up ecosystem in and around Bangalore. Formerly an energy reporter at Reuters. A film, cricket buff who also writes fiction on weekends.

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