Mobile is quickly becoming the next major tech platform shift for the enterprise. Much like the early shift to SaaS, the rise of mobile is creating a wealth of new opportunities for enterprise entrepreneurs.
At Emergence Capital, we have been analyzing the mobile enterprise space for the last five years, tracking start-ups and funding rounds for both mobile enterprise applications and the companies that are enabling mobile apps to grow. The number of early stage deals in the space has grown from 33 in 2010 to 147 in 2014. Moreover, over $4.2 billion has been raised in the mobile enterprise app space as of July 2015.
Given this growth, we set out to create the first ever Mobile Enterprise Trend Report, which aims to answer three questions:
(1) Why does mobile matter to the enterprise?
(2) Where are we today in terms of the creation of mobile enterprise companies?
(3) What are the next opportunities in mobile enterprise?
A snapshot of our findings is included below.
Mobile Enterprise Application Landscape & Funding Trends
Annual dollars invested in early stage mobile enterprise app companies has grown at a CAGR of 38% over the last 5 years. This growth is similar to the early days of SaaS, when entrepreneurs were learning to capitalize on a new platform. Among the 313 companies on our mobile app landscape, it’s interesting to note that approximately one-third of apps are focused on a specific industry (“vertical apps”), in contrast to the early days of SaaS where nearly all companies were focused across industry (“horizontal”). We also found that early M & A has centered around productivity apps, with Microsoft playing a prominent role, having acquired three productivity-focused mobile enterprise apps (6Wunderkinder, Sunrise, and Accompli).
Looking at funding trends, early stage funding has been on the rise for each of the last five years, leading to the emergence of several later stage companies (Dropbox, Box and Square leading the way and others like Doximity and ServiceMax approaching “unicorn” status).
Mobile Enabler Landscape & Funding Trends
We also set out to understand more about a new set of companies that are helping mobile app developers do their jobs more effectively, collectively referred to as mobile “enablers.” This past year, we published our first mobile app enabler landscape, which includes 220 companies, and is segmented by the problems that these companies are trying to help mobile application developers solve.
As the landscape shows, user engagement and development efficiency are key pain points in mobile. Acquisition activity has been heaviest in analytics, suggesting app developer’ analytics are still evolving. Moreover, the user acquisition and monetization categories are surprisingly uncrowded, indicating a big opportunity for entrepreneurs.
Early stage funding of mobile enterprise apps is accelerating, with the amount of capital raised by enablers in 2014 at double the amount as 2013. Many of the later stage enablers service both mobile and web developers– which is unsurprising as many app companies have both mobile and web-based interfaces to their applications. We’ve seen the most funding in the areas of analytics, deep linking and telephony categories.
What’s next for mobile enterprise? We expect to see the continued growth of “horizontal” mobile apps, many focused on productivity improvements (“desk extension”). We also expect to see the expanded use of mobile apps for non-desk workers with a focus on key verticals such as healthcare, construction and field service (“deskless enterprise”). Finally, we predict we’ll see the adoption of mobile enterprise applications in markets that are inherently mobile first. These will be some of the first business apps used in these markets (“going global”).
For more on our findings and specific predictions for the future, read our full report here.