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Solving One of IT’s Most Time-Consuming Tasks: Better Device Management With Fleetsmith

April 19, 2019

The challenge of managing a company’s entire collection of devices—a fleet of machines, if you will—is not trivial. IT departments are responsible for the entire employee lifecycle: onboarding new employees, updating existing devices, fixing equipment or security issues, and offboarding employees. They do these tasks day in and day out for hundreds, if not thousands of devices. It’s mission critical work to keep their companies functioning, but can be a time-consuming, manual process, especially when highly-skilled IT and security people could be spending their valuable time on more strategic activities. It is estimated that this time loss is significant, with manual IT work at SMB and mid-market companies resulting in ~$10 billion in lost productivity.¹

Thanks to San Francisco startup Fleetsmith, security-first device management is finally here. It was founded by Zack Blum, Jesse Endahl, Ken Kouot, and Stevie Hryciw, former IT and security leaders who leveraged their expertise from Dropbox and Fandom, and their customer and product-centric mentality to build the product they wish they had. This is the kind of visionary team that we love to back—their credibility and authenticity came through from the moment we met them and the industry benefits from their thought leadership.

Fleetsmith’s product automates new device setup, inventory, patching, and security across corporate Apple device fleets. Tasks such as computer setup that used to take hours per device can now be completed with a single click. Fleetsmith automates the device setup process by combining three “ingredients.” They combine support for Apple Business Manager, the Fleetsmith catalog of apps and settings, and deep integrations with identity providers such as G Suite and Office 365 to enable factory-fresh devices to be drop-shipped directly to remote employees without prior manual setup by IT. New devices automatically enroll in Fleetsmith when they first connect to WiFi, and all the apps and system settings are installed securely over the internet. This unboxing experience is pure magic for distributed teams. Fleetsmith modernized IT software by building a product with elegant design and turnkey usability, without compromising on robust tech under the hood. And in the coming months, Fleetsmith will launch a new admin console that improves on its current offering with more advanced dashboard visualizations and even better performance.

I’m very excited to lead Fleetsmith’s $30 million Series B and partner with CEO, Zack Blum, and the rest of the team to bring Fleetsmith’s world-class product to companies everywhere. With this investment Fleetsmith will continue to build on its strong foundation. The company will enhance its device management platform, grow its international presence, and build out its team so that they can maximize the organizational efficiency of companies everywhere—ours included—by automating device management.

Fleetsmith has grown mostly through word-of-mouth, and its self-serve, freemium model lets users see the value of the product in minutes, as opposed to weeks, without any training needed—unlike competitors in this category. As a bottom-up SaaS investor, and drawing on my earlier experience as a product and growth operator, this efficient go-to-market is a model I know and love. We at Menlo Ventures seek companies with Fleetsmith’s attributes, and they are in good company joining our portfolio of leading SaaS businesses such as CartaEnvoy, and Heap.

We know Fleetsmith is onto something big because of the product love we hear from its customers, and it’s not just Fleetsmith customers who sing their praises. Their revolutionary device management platform was named the 2018 SaaS Award winner for “Best SaaS Newcomer” and a finalist for “Best Security Innovation in a SaaS product.” Based on their expert team, stellar product, efficient growth, and high customer satisfaction, Fleetsmith is well on its way to dominating, and transforming, this growing market.

If you are the founder of an early-stage SaaS company, I’d love to hear from you. For more of my thoughts on this space, you can follow me on Twitter at @npilosof, and LinkedIn.

1. Estimate provided by Fleetsmith.