Fleet raises $20 million to allow companies to manage their devices – TechCrunch


Fleet, a startup offering a service that helps track and manage enterprise devices such as laptops, today announced that it has raised $20 million in a Series A funding round led by CRV with participation from angel investors including GitLab CEO Sid Sijbrandij. Fleet CEO Mike McNeil said the new capital – which values ​​the company at $100 million after the cash – will be used to scale Fleet’s team and build creating a “more comprehensive” device management feature set.

Managing employee devices was already difficult for IT teams, but the pandemic has made it even harder. In a recent survey controlled by the Kandji device management platform, 95% of IT professionals cited remote troubleshooting, onboarding, and various forms of security as barriers to success. Maybe that’s why, according to According to another survey by Deloitte, the vast majority (84%) of organizations think they don’t have a “really effective” device management system.

Fleet aims to solve common problems with a “visibility platform” that not only manages laptops, but also IT infrastructure, like Internet of Things (IoT) devices and servers. The company’s product acts as a source of truth for device data, allowing teams to see the health of a laptop battery, for example, or whether a file has changed unexpectedly on a laptop. 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 created their own Fleet-like solution from scratch to avoid vendor lock-in and allow them to modify the product as needed. But then they get stuck with the interview. Fleet allows teams to create their own DIY security and IT solutions to get the best of both worlds. »

open-source origins

Fleet was born out of an open-source project called Osquery that was created by CTO Zach Wasserman in collaboration 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 moving to Fleet. Arpaia previously led software development teams at Etsy before joining Meta and helping Wasserman co-found Kolide.

Arpaia and Wasserman developed Osquery at Meta to improve analysis of the social network’s internal operating system. The two alongside Jason Meller, the CEO of Kolide, have integrated Kollide as a launch pad for Fleet, a version of Osquery suitable for enterprise environments. But Kollide’s management focus eventually shifted from Fleet to its distinct, user-focused software-as-a-service offering.

After leaving Kolide, Wasserman continued as Fleet Maintenance Manager and partnered with McNeil to market the project under a new corporate banner: Fleet Device Management, Inc.

Device management 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 does not store customer data, according to McNeil – can monitor a range of environment changes, including when an unlicensed app or extension is installed on a laptop.

Fleet is inspectable and editable, and all source code for the service is publicly available on GitHub, including paid features of Fleet’s fully managed plan.

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

Growing user base

Fleet has competitors to Balena, the embattled Particle and Sternum, which specialize in enterprise-wide IoT device management. The company also competes with security-centric device management platforms like Axonius, which recently raised $100 million at a $1 billion valuation. Tech giants like Google and Apple offer their own solutions, it’s also worth noting, albeit confined 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 spurred in part by a rise in the broader market for open source services , which, according to Markets and Markets, will reach $50 billion by the same year.

McNeil points to the size of Fleet’s user base as proof of the company’s success against its rivals. Over 1.65 million devices are currently under management, some from customers such as Dropbox and Gusto.

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

To date, Fleet, which has 16 employees, has raised $25 million. The company hopes to nearly double its workforce to 40 by 2023 with a focus on software engineering roles.


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