Mason, a startup developing a platform that expedites mobile hardware time to market in the enterprise, today announced that it has raised $25 million in a series A round led by Coatue Management, with GGV Capital and Base10 participating. The fresh capital comes after two seed rounds totaling $120,000, and CEO Jim Xiao said it will accelerate the Seattle-based company’s R&D and hiring efforts.
“We’re honored to have the backing of this amazing group of investors. It’s a powerful endorsement of the market need and our mission to help anyone build and deliver smart hardware products in as little as two days,” said Xiao, who founded Mason in 2015. “We’ve seen the incredible impact dedicated devices can have across every major industry, but there have always been major roadblocks going to market. Our goal is to remove those barriers and make delivering game-changing software on dedicated hardware easy and affordable.”
Mason’s turnkey solution seeks to simplify hardware creation by helping companies build and scale their designs, which run the gamut from patient engagement devices in hospitals and electronic data recorders for clinical trials to electronic logging plugins for trucks and ordering kiosks at restaurants. Clients are afforded control over not only hardware and operating systems but device management and supporting data plans, too.
Mason’s catalog of white-box touchscreen devices includes 5-inch and 6-inch handhelds and tablets up to 10.1 inches, all of which run an Android-based operating system that can be remotely managed, updated, and patched over the air. Each device has a three-year life cycle and most work with LTE, 3G, and 2G data plans in over 120 different countries, and they fit custom accessories designed with Mason’s bespoke design dashboard.
The operating system — Mason OS — boasts over 500 low-level optimizations and a command-line interface that integrates with existing app development workflows, along with software development kits that give apps elevated privileges where necessary. Device diagnostics, including connectivity and location, are relayed to a unified web view from which devices (or groups of devices) can be configured or provisioned.
Beyond hardware and software development and management, Mason offers operational services intended to help clients get devices out the door swiftly. International warehousing and fulfillment centers are available with whitelabel packaging options and customized kitting, alongside remanufacturing and refurbishing services aimed at extending devices’ life cycles.
In the next six months, Mason hopes to cut down the amount of time it takes to build, test, and deploy a new or revamped product line to under two weeks.
“Mason is building a strong platform that harnesses hardware innovation with a layer of enterprise-grade stability, control, and security. This unlocks the power of hardware-enabled software and services for everyone, from enterprise CIOs to product owners to individual developers,” said GGV Capital managing partner Hans Tung. “We have a long track record of backing innovation across the enterprise, and we’re betting on Mason to be as transformative to smart product innovation as cloud infrastructure was to software development.”
As part of this latest funding round, Coatue senior managing director Thomas Laffont and partner Arielle Zuckerberg will join the company’s board of directors. Mason’s other investors include Y Combinator, Social Capital, Liquid2, SOMA Capital, and 11.2 Capital.