Deals

Dropbox buys MobileSpan, a ticket to enterprise security

Dropbox cofounder and CEO Drew Houston.

Above: Dropbox cofounder and CEO Drew Houston.

Image Credit: Rebecca Grant/VentureBeat

Dropbox is the latest Silicon Valley company with a penchant for retail therapy.

After acquiring DropTalk last Thursday, the cloud storage company has purchased MobileSpan, a startup that enables enterprise employees to securely access corporate content located behind a firewall. MobileSpan announced the acquisition on its homepage.

From its announcement:

A couple of years ago, two ex-Google Chrome engineers and an EIR from Foundation Capital set out to help enterprises transition from desktop-centric systems to a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) world — in a secure, seamless, and enterprise-friendly manner.

We believe that we have come a long way: MobileSpan Gateway and the MobileSpan apps for iOS and Windows allow secure ad-hoc access to business content and editing of Office documents living behind the corporate firewall with native UX on each platform. Yet we still have some ways to go before business content is freed from its desktop-focused roots and is made readily usable yet secure on modern mobile devices.

Joining forces with Dropbox will allow us to rapidly accelerate the realization of that dream. We feel that our long-term vision for enterprise productivity and collaboration aligns greatly with the vision for Dropbox for Business, which allows employees to securely share and collaborate and is used by companies like Spotify, National Geographic and Under Armour.

The company’s team will join the Dropbox for Business group, which is leading Dropbox’s charge into the enterprise. Dropbox intends to snuff out MobileSpan’s offering by the end of the year, transitioning existing customers to its own products.

MobileSpan participated in Alchemist Accelerator’s first class, which launched in January 2013. MobileSpan racked up a number of venture capital investors, including True Ventures, K9 Ventures, and Greylock Partners. Dropbox didn’t disclose the terms of the deal.

Dropbox has snapped up companies at a furious rate in recent months. To beef up its Dropbox for Business division, the company recently acquired collaborative document editing company HackPad, stealthy workplace messaging startup Zulip, and (another) messaging startup DropTalk. As in the case of photo-storage startup Loom, which Dropbox acquired since it was building a similar product of its own, Dropbox is likely acquiring MobileSpan in order to benefit not only from the team’s talent but also its know-how in content security which it won’t have to figure out from scratch.