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New York tech startup Divide conquers the BYOD conundrum

Whether you’re a tech-lit­er­ate prod­uct man­ag­er or not, few peo­ple would dis­pute that the boom­ing pop­u­lar­i­ty of BYOD (bring your own device) has improved work­place pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and caused secu­ri­ty headaches in equal mea­sure. The core ques­tions are: how do the guys at IT man­age work-relat­ed out­put on mul­ti­ple scat­tered devices with­out com­pro­mis­ing per­son­al pri­va­cy, and how do they keep sen­si­tive work-relat­ed stuff con­fi­den­tial when it’s on a pri­vate­ly-owned device? Thanks to New York tech start­up Divide (which used to go by the clunki­er and slight­ly baf­fling name of Enter­proid), device own­ers and IT teams have a neat solu­tion: its app cyphers devices and secure­ly seg­re­gates work-relat­ed and per­son­al data.

Pro­gres­sive popularity

The informed prod­uct man­ag­er may now be won­der­ing why Divide deserves a fan­fare while oth­er tech firms have been offer­ing solu­tions to this prob­lem too. There’s VMware for starters, whose soft­ware also sep­a­rates per­son­al and work data and then there’s mobile device man­age­ment firms Zen­prise and Good Tech­nol­o­gy (which is head­ing for an IPO).

But there aren’t many who have proved as pop­u­lar as the Divide app, which since its launch in 2010 has been down­loaded on both iOS and Android plat­forms more than 200,000 times (and ris­ing). Not only that, the more than 1,300 reviews it’s gen­er­at­ed on Android give it an aver­age rat­ing of 4.1.

Big new cash injection

Last month, the start­up (which also has offices in Lon­don and Hong Kong) raised a prince­ly $12 mil­lion in Series B fund­ing, cour­tesy of a round led by Google Ven­tures, with par­tic­i­pa­tion from exist­ing investors Qual­comm Ven­tures and Com­cast Ven­tures, plus new investors Har­mo­ny Part­ners and Globe­span Cap­i­tal Partners.

That brings Divide’s total invest­ment to an impres­sive $25 mil­lion. Even the most skep­ti­cal prod­uct manger will agree that that sug­gests this prod­uct has got wings. And he’d be right: Divide has report­ed a ten-fold rise in paid licens­es in 2013 alone.

With the Divide ser­vice, users can shift files between an on-site work­place envi­ron­ment and the cloud and can attach cloud-based and local alike doc­u­ments to emails. It allows all files to be secure­ly saved, viewed and shared, and it can share them between the Divide work­space and per­son­al apps. And, by allow­ing per­mis­sions to be dealt with on a gran­u­lar basis, it can be effi­cient­ly man­aged by those IT guys.

Neat, huh?

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