San Francisco headquartered Android device management platform Esper has raised $7.6 million in a Series A funding round led by Madrona Venture Group.
Existing investors Root Ventures, Ubiquity Ventures, Haystack Ventures, and Pathbreaker Ventures participated in the round, the company said in a statement.
Founded by former Microsoft executives Yadhu Gopalan and Shiv Sundar in 2017, Esper helps companies in the education, retail, hospitality, logistics, transportation, health and manufacturing sectors to monitor Android devices deployed by them.
“The idea came to us two years back when we were talking to the founders of Ezetap who were developing the GPRS based PoS. Both of us have been working on the Android ecosystem, with my stint at Samsung and Cyanogen and Yadhu’s work at Amazon on the Fire OS,” said Shiv Sundar, co-founder and COO at Esper.
The product-as-a-service model helps enterprises track the location of devices, monitor the apps running on it and locks down the usability to approved apps, preventing personal use cases.
Sundar said that the company approached Terry Myerson, venture partner at Seattle-headquartered venture capital firm Madrona Venture and former executive vice president at Microsoft for Windows and devices group, with the concept resulting in the capital infusion.
“For example when a cab driver is given a tablet for the ride, we lockdown the location and make sure that it is not misused for making calls and other personal use. While deploying our ‘agent’ on the devices, we make sure that the app usage data on these devices are not read by us,” Sundar told TechCircle.
He added that Esper’s services are deployed across delivery, e-commerce and warehouse companies in India.
Esper currently has close to 60 customers within six months of launch. It employs about 50 people including 40 at its India office in Bengaluru and plans to double the headcount in the coming year.
Apart from plugging into existing devices, Esper also partners with device makers such as MediaTek, Lenovo and Zebra for hardware and device development, ranging across phones, tablets, screens and kiosks.