Madrona, Trilogy Lead $1.2M Investment in Mobilisafe, Targeting Business IT Security Amid a Flood of Personal Gadgets

5/27/11Follow @curtwoodward

Aside from the occasional panic over distracted driving or general griping about bad manners, the rapid improvement in personal mobile computing over the past decade is usually portrayed as a happy occurrence.

But the phenomenon is also creating a range of headaches for business IT people, who could rightfully see an arsenal of vulnerabilities in all those shiny new smartphones and tablets that employees haul to work.

That’s the problem being targeted by Mobilisafe, a stealth-mode Bellevue, WA startup founded by former T-Mobile software architects Giri Sreenivas and Dirk Sigurdson. Their company, which was just founded this year, is reporting today that it has raised $1.2 million in its first round of financing. The investment was led by Madrona Venture Group and Trilogy Equity Partners, the venture firm started by longtime wireless executive (and current Clearwire interim CEO) John Stanton.

Sreenivas says there are other investors, but he’s not naming names. He’s also not giving details yet about how Mobilisafe will attack the IT security sector—he even declined to answer my broad question of whether this was more complicated than simply blocking network access for personal devices. Fair enough, I guess. But Sreenivas does say that Mobilisafe is hiring already, seeking software engineers and a product person.

I was just talking with another former T-Mobile employee this week about the potential for more refugees taking the entrepreneurial plunge, now that AT&T’s $39 billion bid to take over the magenta-toned fourth-place carrier is in motion. Perhaps Mobilisafe is one of the first entrants we’ll see in a stream of people striking out on their own.

Or maybe it’s just a coincidence. Sreenivas said he and Sigurdson joined T-Mobile around the same time, in 2008, where they worked on the Android software development team. “I started looking at the space and came up with an approach and some ideas, and I got Dirk involved—and we kind of hit the ground running together,” he says. Sreenivas is the CEO and Sigurdson serves as CTO, according to their LinkedIn pages.

Curt Woodward is a senior editor for Xconomy based in Boston. Email: cwoodward@xconomy.com Follow @curtwoodward

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