The 17 Hottest Enterprise Mobile Startups Right Now

The tablet and smartphone have invaded the workplace and are changing everything about the way we work.

Office-bound employees are now free to roam and work on their personal devices. Road warriors and field workers now have a device as powerful as a PC that fits in their pockets.

A lot of attention is given to startups that create mobile apps for consumers (from Flipboard to Snapchat) but the companies on this list are focusing on a different, and huge, market: enterprises. Businesses will spend a whopping $US340 billion on mobile products by 2017, says ABI Research.

We created this list by asking several enterprise venture capitalists to name the mobile startups they were most excited about, inside and outside their own investments. We also threw in a few picks of our own.

Clari: apps built from other cloud apps

Andy Byrne, CEO, Clari

Clari is a platform for enterprise developers for writing mobile apps.

It's still in beta but eventually it will helps them write beautiful apps that can easily tap into a lot of different cloud services like Box, Dropbox, Evernote, Chatter, Salesforce.com

Recommended by: A number of VCs named it as hot. Jim Goetz, Sequoia.

Why it's hot: Goetz says, 'Mobile-first enterprise app and cloud service bringing consumer grade design to business applications. The team's had $US1B+ in successful exits and has really strong customer traction pre-release.

Relationship: Investor.

Expensify: Easy expense reports

David Barrett, founder, Expensify

Expensify is an app that does your expense reports.

Snap a picture of your receipt and it inputs that info, so you don't have to type it all in by hand.

Recommended by: A VC that didn't want to be named.

Why it's hot: The Valley has been buzzing about Expensify since 2008, when its alpha product won a prize at a TechCrunch conference. In 2009, the entire Expensify team went to Istanbul for a month and wrote an award-winning Salesforce.com Expensify application.

Relationship: No relation, just thinks the company is cool.

Workspot

Amitabh Sinha, cofounder, CEO

Workspot lets enterprises instantly and securely give employees access corporate apps on a mobile devices.

It has even issued a challenge: Give them 60 seconds and they can get any enterprise app running on a mobile device.

Recommended by: Jerry Chen, Greylock Partners

Why it's hot: Chen says, 'They are building enterprise app access for a mobile-first world. They do the important job of securing mobile access to legacy enterprise apps in addition to email and newer apps.'

Relation: No relation, just thinks the company is cool.

Lookout Mobile: Security for smartphones

John Hering, CEO, Lookout Mobile

Lookout Mobile offers apps that keep smartphones and tablets secure.

It has developed a huge database on security threats for mobile devices and also offers a cloud service that lets developers tap into that database.

Recommended by: Joseph Ansanelli, Greylock Partners.

Why it's hot: Ansanelli says, 'They're an enterprise mobile security app to protect smartphones and tablets from security risks and data breaches. Their goal is to make our devices more secure as we become more connected.'

Relationship: Investor.

Pixate: Making iOS apps more beautiful

Paul Colton, cofounder and CEO Pixate

Pixate is a service that helps mobile app developers create beautiful iPhone apps.

Pixate gives its cloud service away for free and makes money by offering custom development services.

Recommended by: Andrew Braccia, Accel Partners

Why it's hot: Braccia says, 'Pixate is revolutionizing the way native apps are designed and styled,' Braccia says. Enterprise apps are increasingly being judged by consumer standards: how beautiful they look, easy they are to use. 'Pixate has an opportunity to play a critical part in the way enterprise app developers go to market.'

Relationship: Investor.

Roambi: A mobile alternative to Excel

Santiago Becerra, CEO of Roambi

Roambi is an app that lets you create charts, graphs and presentations on mobile devices.

It's a mobile alternative to PC-era software like Excel and PowerPoint.

Recommended by: Andrew Braccia, Accel Partners

Why it's hot: Braccia says, 'Delivering clear, crisp design on mobile and tablet devices gives business users the information they need to act on the go. They're powering the new 'dynamic clipboard' for the data-driven enterprise.'

Relationship: No relationship, just thinks the company is cool.

AirWatch: Keeping an eye on mobile devices

AirWatch CEO John Marshall

AirWatch helps enterprises track, secure and manage software on mobile devices whether they are owned by the company or the employee.

It's a hot category of software called 'mobile device management.'

Recommended by: Rich Wong, Accel Partners

Why it's hot: Wong says, AirWatch is a 'leader in guiding the shift of enterprise to the mobile/post-pc era. They specialize in MDM mobile device management, have a booming business.'

Relationship: Investor.

HasOffers: All about the mobile ads

Peter Hamilton, CEO HasOffers

HasOffers offers a service called MobileAppTracking, that does what its name implies: tracks how well ad campaigns are working on mobile devices.

Recommended by: Rich Wong, Accel Partners

Why it's hot: Wong says, 'The software allows mobile marketers to measure and optimise their mobile ad spending.'

Relationship: Investor.

Flurry: watches how apps are used

Simon Khalaf, CEO, Flurry

Flurry is a service that lets app developers see what people are doing with their apps and, ideally, how to make money with the app through advertising or other means.

Recommended by: Rich Wong, Accel Partners

Why it's hot: Wong says, 'Flurry is a leader in general mobile analytics.'

Relationship: No relationship, just thinks the company is cool.

Appurify: Finding bugs before customers do

Jay Srinivasan, CEO, Appurify

Appurify is a service that lets app developers test their apps to find bugs, a service called 'test automation framework.'

Recommended by: Karim Faris, Google Ventures

Why it's hot: Faris says, 'Makes sure your mobile app works on all iOS/Android devices before you release it in the wild.'

Relationship: Investor.

Duo Security: Passwords via text

Dug Song, CEO, Duo Security

Duo Security is service that let's app developers make their apps more secure. It let's them include a two-step password in their apps.

That's when users can't log in until they get a special password sent to them by text or email. (In geek speak, that's called 'two-factor authentication.')

Recommended by: Karim Faris, Google Ventures

Why it's hot: Faris says, 'Your mobile device is your new key. Duo has developed the most usable two-factor authentication. Their service can be called by any mobile app to validate a user log-in or a payment transaction.'

Relationship: Investor.

Wickr: the Snapchat for paranoid people

Wickr is an app that makes sure your messages, photos and videos stay private.

It lets you control over who can read messages, where and for how long. Although it can be used by consumers, because it uses military-grade encryption, it has a following of business users.

Recommended by: Ping Li, Accel Partners

Why it's hot: Li says, 'Wickr is enabling enterprise messaging to be secure and encrypted -- it's the Snapchat for enterprises that need high-levels of security.'

Relationship: No relationship, just thinks the company is cool.

Appcelerator: write one app for many devices

Cofounder Jeff Haynie Appcelerator

Appcelerator offers a bunch of tools for mobile app developers at enterprises.

It lets them write the app once and have it easily work on all devices (iOS, Android, BlackBerry ... even Tizen). It also helps them manage their apps when they create lots of them.

Recommended by: Karim Faris, Google Ventures

Why it's hot: Faris says, 'Allows you to publish on both iOS and Android platform from a single codebase.'

Relationship:No relationship, just thinks the company is cool.

Doubledutch: mobile apps for conferences

Lawrence Coburn CEO Doubledutch

Doubledutch creates mobile apps for big corporate events.

The app covers things like the event's agenda, surveys and polls and can help turn conference attendees into leads for the organiser or exhibitors.

Recommended by: Karim Faris, Google Ventures

Why it's hot: Faris says, 'Doubledutch is a cool custom CRM app for events and conferences.'

Relationship: No relationship, just thinks the company is cool.

uTest: Real user crowdsourced app tests

Matt Johnston, CMO, uTest

uTest is a Massachusetts-based startup that does crowdsourced testing of mobile apps.

Recommended by: Our pick

uTest employs a 'a community of 100,000 people' that can test a mobile app in the wild, using it just like real users would, Matt Johnston, chief marketing officer told us.

Why it's hot: It's customers include for companies like Google, Amazon, HBO, USA Today.

Xamarin: Microsoft tools for iOS/Android apps

Miguel de Icaza, cofounder Xamarin

Xamarin lets developers use the popular programing language C# to write one mobile app that works on all platforms, iOS, Android and Windows and Mac.

C# is a favourite language for programmers who like Microsoft development tools.

Recommended by: Our pick

Why it's hot: For one thing, Xamarin has powerful partners including Microsoft and Salesforce.com. For another, it was cofounded by Miguel de Icaza, a rock star in the open-source Linux world. The two-year old company already has 500,000 users, it says.

Interneer: Lets everyone write their own apps

Romeo Elias, founder, Interneer

Interneer offers a product that let's people write their own business iPhone and iOS apps, in minutes, with no programming involved.

The IT department installs the basic product and then business managers can create apps.

For instance, a hotel created an app that lets workers take pictures of items that need repair and schedules those repairs, founder Romeo Elias told Business Insider.

Recommended by: Our pick

Why it's hot: Interneer is an alternative to hiring expensive mobile app development consultants. And enterprises have eaten it up. It's landed a whole lot of paying customers. It raised $US3.2 million in 2007, and hasn't had to raise more.

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