Business is sometimes a family affair, as is the case with Wandera founders Eldar and Roy Tuvey, who launched the startup that specialises in cloud-powered management and data security for enterprises developing a mobile working strategy.
The brothers sold their first company, ScanSafe, to Cisco for $183m in 2009 and set up Wandera in 2012. It has grown to employ 85 people in offices in London, San Francisco and Brno in the Czech Republic.
We fired our spotlight questions at Eldar to hear more about his startup.
Tell us more about Wandera.
We offer security and management for enterprise mobile data. Wandera goes beyond mobile device management to focus on the data itself, offering threat prevention, compliance and data cost management.
Our cloud gateway uses a multi-level approach that monitors and correlates data simultaneously on the device and in the cloud. It enables enterprises to protect sensitive data from the latest mobile threats, optimising data use to reduce spend and gain insights to drive mobile productivity.
Why did you develop Wandera?
We saw the shift to mobile working and understood that corporations wanted to enable their users to have access anytime, anywhere for productivity reasons. However, that enablement brings security risks, compliance risks and financial risks.
We noticed that no other vendor was really focusing on providing enterprises with mobility services to tackle all these risks.
Our founding team has a lot of experience in enterprise IT security and software-as-a-service, and we knew we had the technical expertise to provide ultra-scalable cloud services to process HTTP traffic in real time. So we knew we would have a fighting chance of making a difference and delivering valuable security services for enterprises.
Tell us how you got your business off the ground.
The key founding team locked themselves away in a small office and started analysing the market, researching the competition, listening to customer demands, interviewing chief information security officers, IT directors and so on, and trying to figure out how best to mitigate the risks that our potential customers were facing.
We wireframed our first app and management portal, architected the in-line proxies, hired software developers, got a slightly bigger office and started the journey to deliver our first viable product.
What technology do you use?
Crucially we use an in-line cloud proxy that sits in the path of the data and scans all of the cellular data going between the applications and the browser on the device to the internet.
We have apps for the Windows, Android and iOS platforms. Our portal, Radar, allows our customers to access real-time reports, identify where their mobile [data] is being spent and configure their policies. We generally use Java for our coding language and a variety of other technologies as and when needed.
Are you based in an incubator or startup centre?
The UK team is very fortunate to have just moved into new offices in Mortimer Street right next to Lionsgate Films. We're very pleased to be here with all the extra space and fantastic facilities because we were starting to pile up on top of each other in our old office at Marble Arch.
What level of funding have you received so far?
We've raised $25m from venture capital firms Bessemer Venture Partners and 83North.
What challenges have you encountered to date?
The biggest challenge has been recruiting enough good people quickly enough with the experience and passion to work in mobility and security.
What's been the biggest highlight of your business so far?
There are probably two highlights. The first was earning the prestigious recognition as a Gartner Cool Vendor in Enterprise Mobility, which gave us the outside confirmation from leading analysts that we are on the right track.
The second was when our mobile threat researchers highlighted the potential WiFi phishing threat on Apple Pay and our ability to protect our customer base from man-in-the-middle attacks, which we believe is the most prevalent and important threat type facing enterprise smartphone users today.
What does your company do to relax or have fun after a busy day?
Like any other company filled with young people, we like to go to the pub for a drink but recently the table tennis craze has captured almost all our employees who are often found after work having tournaments. They got so into it they even set up a net on the boardroom table, but we've now bought a table tennis table for the office.
What did you do before starting up?
Since I did my MBA, I've started three separate businesses, but in the very distant past I started my career as an investment banker.
What are your favourite and worst things about running your own startup?
My favourite thing is seeing how people develop in a role. People join the company keen to learn and in two years they are leading departments and managing people.
With the fast growth we experience, junior people are given a lot of responsibility very quickly so we get to see them grow and learn.
The worst thing is trying to grow faster and faster; you can never take your foot off the accelerator.
Sometimes you wish you could rest on your laurels, but there's always more to be done: more product to be developed, more countries to expand into, more staff to hire, more partners to work with, more customers, more, more, more.
If you could emulate the success of another startup, which would it be?
For product development it would be Apple, for ubiquity it would be Google, for customer services it would be Ocado. But every business is different. We need to find our own path to success.
Do you work remotely, in a shared environment or have your own office space?
Our London team works very closely with our offices in San Francisco and Brno so we have Google Hangout open all the time between offices.
We enable remote working as much as possible but we still believe there is a lot of benefit to be gained by working physically in the same space, sharing information and best practices.
(Nintendo founder) Shigeru Miyamoto.
Smart or casual?
Coffee shop of choice?
Beverage of choice?
Loulou's at 5 Hertford Street.
Do you benefit from startup communities and related networking?
Probably not as much as we could. Enterprise software seems to be underserved. Most of the hype and effort seems to be around consumer internet with recognisable brand names.
Could the government and technology industry do more to support UK startups?
More can always be done, especially in terms of training for the tech skills that we require. On the whole I think the Government's Enterprise Investment Scheme and research and development tax credits are a great support.
One thing I'd like to see is some sort of insurance holiday to reduce employment costs for startups and allow us to hire more people faster.
If you want to take part in the V3 Startup Spotlight contact Roland Moore-Colyer.
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