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A few years back, Caleb Sima recognized a problem: Enterprises demand visibility and security for their corporate data, but employees want the freedom to use any applications for work on their own devices. Usually, said Sima, one side suffers at the expense of the other — so he set out to build a solution that offers both.

Sima is cofounder and CEO of Bluebox Security, a well-funded mobile security startup that emerged from stealth mode on Wednesday.

“It’s not really about device management anymore, it’s really about mobile data management,” Sima told VentureBeat. “Legacy solutions really focus on securing the entire device, which is taking a sledgehammer approach where you need a scalpel.”

Bluebox CEO Caleb Sima

Above: Bluebox CEO Caleb Sima

Over the last year and a half, Bluebox built a “data-wrapping technology” that encrypts, tags, and tracks data at the document level. Employees download Bluebox on their iOS or Android device, log into the app, and then they can download any kind of app they want to use for work.

“There’s no other solution on the market that allows you to choose from the millions of apps on the app stores,” asserted Sima. “You actually use the native apps.”

A privacy dashboard provides employees with a clear picture of what their IT department is tracking, enabling them to keep their corporate and personal data separate.

“If you walk away from a company, the company is only able to wipe the corporate data, not your entire device,” said Sima.

Bluebox has spent the last six months working with beta customers, including Netflix and Zions Bank. Now, with a fresh $18 million on hand, it’s ready to accrue a lot more customers. It’s taking a horizontal approach, selling to small and medium-sized businesses and enterprises across all sorts of verticals: retail, technology, health, utility, and others. Sima declined to discuss pricing details but told us Bluebox is “priced competitively” to other mobile security solutions.

“Launching is like jumping out of an airplane: It’s exciting and scary all at the same time,” said Sima. “I was not a big fan of being in stealth, so I’m excited to come out, but it is scary — you’re putting yourself out there, and that’s always a tough thing to do.”

With more folks wanting (and expecting) to bring their personal devices into the workplace, mobile security and device management are becoming increasingly hot. IBM snapped up Fiberlink late last year to bolster its earlier mobile device management offering, and new players like Bluebox and Mojave Networks are getting millions in funding for their mobile security solutions.

[See also in today’s news: Israel’s Nativeflow takes $7.5M to protect work data on personal devices (exclusive)]

Bluebox Security is based in San Francisco, Calif. and currently has fewer than 30 employees. It has raised $27.5 million in financing from investors like Andreessen Horowitz, SV Angel, Tenaya Capital, Andy Bechtolsheim, and Ram Shriram.


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