Fleet gets $20 million to let businesses manage their devices

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Fleet, a startup offering a service that helps track and manage corporate devices like laptops, announced today that it has raised $20 million in a CRV-led Series A round involving angel investors including GitLab CEO Sid Sidgbrandia. Fleet CEO Mike McNeil says the new capital, which values ​​the company at $100 million after cash, will be used to expand the Fleet team and build a “more complete” set of device management features.

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Managing employee devices was already a challenge for IT teams, but the pandemic has made the task even more difficult. In a recent poll Commissioned by Kandji Device Management Platform, 95% of IT professionals cited remote troubleshooting, onboarding, and various forms of security as barriers to success. Perhaps that is why according according to a separate survey by Deloitte, the vast majority (84%) of organizations say they lack a “truly effective” device management system.

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Fleet aims to solve common problems with a “visibility platform” that manages not only laptops but also computing infrastructure such as Internet of Things (IoT) devices and servers. The company’s product acts as a source of reliable device data, allowing teams to, for example, see the battery status of a laptop or unexpectedly change a file on a production server.

“Fleet enables teams – security engineering, incident response, IT, help desk, compliance, vulnerability management, [and more] “Ask questions about their devices and get answers,” McNeil said. “Some organizations have built their own park-like solution from scratch to avoid vendor lock-in and allow them to modify the product as needed. But then they got stuck with the service. Fleet allows teams to build their own security and IT solutions to get the best of both worlds.”

Open source origin

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Fleet originated from an open source project called Osquery, which was created by CTO Zach Wasserman along with Moonfire Ventures partner Mike Arpaia. Wasserman was a software engineer on the security team at Meta (formerly Facebook) and co-founded two companies, Kolide and Dactiv, before settling at Fleet. Arpaia previously led the software development teams at Etsy before joining Meta and helping Wasserman co-found Kolide.

Arpaia and Wasserman developed Osquery with Jason Moeller, CEO of Kolide, at Meta to improve the internal analytics of the social network’s operating system. The three included Kollide as a launch pad for Fleet, a version of Osquery tailored for corporate settings. But eventually the attention of Kollide’s management shifted from Fleet to its standalone, user-centric software-as-a-service offering.

After leaving Kolide, Wasserman continued as a Fleet Service Lead and partnered with McNeil to commercialize the project under a new corporate name: Fleet Device Management, Inc.


Manage devices from the Fleet control panel.

With Fleet, users can send snapshots of device data to existing platforms such as Snowflake, Splunk, Elastic, and SumoLogic. Fleet, which McNeil says does not store customer data, can track a number of environmental changes, including when an unlicensed app or extension is installed on a laptop.

Fleet is verifiable and modifiable, and all source code for the service is publicly available on GitHub, including paid features in the fully managed Fleet plan.

“If a team needs a change, they can request a feature or just make a change themselves and try it out, then submit a pull request to share the code with other users,” McNeil said. “By default, every Fleet feature is programmable and available through REST APIs and webhooks, which are useful for custom automation through back-end tools or platforms like Jira, Zendesk and Tines.”

Growing user base

The fleet has competitors in Balena, besieged Particle and Sternumwho specialize in enterprise-scale IoT device management. The company also competes with security-focused device management platforms such as Axony, which recently raised $100 million at a $1 billion valuation. Tech giants such as Google and Apple offer their its solutionsshould also be noted, although limited to their respective operating systems and hardware.

Markets and Markets estimates that the mobile device management market will grow from $5.5 billion in 20221 to $20.4 billion by 2026. The expansion was driven in part by a surge in the broader open source services market, which Markets and Markets predicts will grow to $50 billion by 2026. the same year.

McNeil points to the size of Fleet’s user base as evidence of the company’s success in the face of competition. There are currently over 1.65 million devices under management, some of which are owned by customers including Dropbox and Gusto.

“Fleet’s feature set is unique, but works well to fill gaps in mobile device management solutions like Jamf and security tools like Rapid7, Crowdstrike or CarbonBlack,” McNeil added. “Fleet closes a gap in blind faith. The platform provides a single, authoritative, developer-friendly source of trusted information on all device data, from servers to laptops, on any operating system.”

The 16-employee Fleet has raised $25 million to date. The company hopes to nearly double its headcount to 40 by 2023, with a focus on software engineering roles.

Credit: techcrunch.com /

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