Startup Reddo Mobility gets $4.25M to give Windows apps a second wind

Citrix, venture firms among backers of Reddo's virtualized approach to mobile apps

Desktop Windows apps aren't disappearing from enterprises overnight, but if startup Reddo Mobility has its way, many of them will morph into mobilized ones sooner than later.

This startup-of-sorts – Cambridge, Mass.-based Reddo emerged last summer from a restructuring of HTML5 developer tools vendor Gizmox – Wednesday announced it is flush with a fresh $4.25 million in funding to pursue its mission. Gizmox had raised $18 million over the years.

Reddo’s first funding round since spinning out involved Atlas Venture, IVIC and Citrix, along with a mystery “strategic partner.” Funds will be used to boost engineering, sales and marketing for Reddo’s technology, which is being tested by unnamed customers in financial services, healthcare and government.

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Reddo’s technology is designed to help organizations rapidly extend and optimize Windows desktop apps – including those on virtual desktop infrastructures -- so that they can be used on smartphones and tablets (and no, not just for Windows phones). 

“Reddo delivers mobile-optimized interfaces in HTML5 that can be displayed on any mobile browser,” says VP of Marketing Josh Epstein. “ We can integrate with application wrapping technologies (e.g., PhoneGap) that can be used to create a hybrid app for different platforms. We also integrate with mobile device management solutions that may include a secure browser technology… so we are device agnostics.”

The hook is that the data center or cloud-based apps can be converted without any coding or scripting on the part of the customer. This gives organizations an alternative to reworking the apps themselves to run natively on iOS, Android or Windows mobile devices, or starting from scratch with brand-new apps or going with screencasting options from the likes of Citrix, Microsoft or VMware.

Ruben Spruijt, CTO, PQR Ruben Spruijt

“I know for sure that 10 years from now a lot of enterprises will still run Windows classic applications in their data centers or on their rich clients.” -- Ruben Spruijt, CTO for systems integrator PQR

“Most of the current solutions like Citrix, Microsoft and VMware aren’t really optimized for smartphones and tablets,” says Ruben Spruijt (@RSpruijt), CTO for a systems integrator in the Netherlands called PQR. He has dabbled with Reddo’s technology, though isn’t working with it at any client sites for production purposes.

The business opportunity here is obvious for companies like Reddo even though many application vendors and virtualization companies have at least limited offerings to help customers extend legacy CRM, ERP and other apps. Startups are grabbing the attention of investors and established vendors. Reddo, for example, is tight with Citrix, where CEO John Vigeant used to work, and venture-funded Capriza counts VMware among supporters of its system for mobilizing web apps. Mainframe2, another startup enabling customers to breathe new life into desktop apps via the cloud, also has lined up a serious roster of backers.

PQR’s Spruijt sees technology like Reddo’s as providing a bridge for customers who will eventually adopt native mobile or HTML5 applications. 

“It could be a long bridge,” says Spruijt, who finds the majority of applications at many of his enterprise customers are still Windows based. “I know for sure that 10 years from now a lot of enterprises will still run Windows classic applications in their data centers or on their rich clients.”

Reddo finds itself working with several different groups among early product testers. These include VPs of mobility within IT organizations, IT application teams, virtual desktop infrastructure groups and line-of-business leaders.

Initially, Reddo’s technology works well for Windows .Net and Win32 apps. The company, which has 28 employees between its headquarters in Cambridge and R&D location in Israel, is looking to broaden its expertise in areas such as Java and SAP.

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