Fresh Off of Dell Deal, VMware Buys Austin E-Mail Startup Boxer

Computing giant VMware has bought e-mail management software developer Boxer. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Picking up the Austin, TX-based company will help VMware to offer services that are “consumer simple, enterprise secure,” writes VMware CTO Noah Wasmer on the company’s blog.

Palo Alto, CA-based VMware (NYSE: VMW) plans to pair Boxer’s services with the virtualization company’s AirWatch product. The idea, Wasmer writes, is to make mobile applications such as e-mail as secure as needed by businesses, while also being easy to use.

“The team at Boxer understands that enterprise IT has to earn the right to be on the user’s device by creating a ‘consumer grade’ user experience that is precise and blazing fast,” he writes. “Their success in this area has been led by their consumer solution which has earned rave reviews for its simplicity and usability.”

Boxer was founded in 2012 and last raised $3 million in a round led by Sutter Hill Ventures. A key feature for Boxer is the ability to avoid using the keyboard when interacting with your messages. Andrew Eye, Boxer’s founder, told me two years ago the idea is to use two gestures instead of about 45—the number it would typically take to open an e-mail, hit reply, type out a response, and then send the message.

“On their mobile phones [users] want to triage their e-mails, get rid of junk they don’t care about, and highlight things they do care about,” Eye told me. “We make those interactions easy.”

VMware is majority-owned by EMC (NYSE: EMC), the Massachusetts data-storage giant that is being acquired by Dell in the tech industry’s largest deal ever. The terms of the deal call for VMware to remain a separate, publicly traded company.



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