Dropbox has made yet another acquisition to reinforce its business collaboration platform -- this time, the lucky startup is MobileSpan, developer of solutions for securely editing Office documents that are hosted on the corporate firewall from mobile devices.
"A couple of years ago, two ex-Google Chrome engineers and an EIR from Foundation Capital set out to help enterprises transition from desktop-centric systems to a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) world -- in a secure, seamless and enterprise-friendly manner," writes the MobileSpan team in their farewell blog post to customers on their homepage.
MobileSpan's technology could help Dropbox satisfy companies that are in the middle of their own transitions from legacy IT to more user-centric models including the mentioned BYOD.
Here's how MobileSpan works: Companies deploy the MobileSpan Gateway on a machine behind the corporate firewall and use the Apple iOS app to access and work with documents shared via the host. It's all ad-hoc and no cloud middleman is ever employed.
While support for more platforms was likely in the works, MobileSpan is immediately ceasing development to focus on Dropbox for Business. This indicates that the MobileSpan technology will be put to work in the Dropbox platform, which may be a boon in helping the company reach customers for whom data locality and compliance is a major sticking point.
"[We] still have some ways to go before business content is freed from its desktop-focused roots and is made readily usable yet secure on modern mobile devices," writes the company.
Current MobileSpan customers will be supported through the end of the year.
According to Crunchbase, MobileSpan raised $2.3 million in funding from True Ventures and K9 Ventures in the January of 2013. MobileSpan CEO and co-founder Nils Bunger was the aforementioned entrepreneur-in-residence at Foundation Capital, and before that, he was co-founder and CTO at virtual desktop company Pano Logic.
Everything we wrote last week when Dropbox snapped up Droptalk is still true: Rather than act as a platform, Dropbox is trying to build out its feature set for the enterprise itself by way of acquisitions -- which tend to be as much about talent as technology.
With this new cross-startup super-team of enterprise mobility experts that it's bought itself, Dropbox is really hoping to develop its deeper functionalities even as the cloud storage features that built its brand continues to become a commodity.