Darron Antill, who replaced company founder Charles Sharland as CEO at the start of the year, said when the Goldman Sachs deal was announced that AppSense would use the proceeds from Goldman’s investment to accelerate its expansion into the US, which is now responsible for over 50% of the company’s business. Sharland who remains on board as Executive Chairman has indicated that AppSense’s goal is to become a £1bn company through an IPO in 3- years time.
Expanding its design team is a major step along towards this goal, but even accepting Goldman Sachs’ view that desktop virtualization will be worth $3bn over the coming five years, it is difficult to see how AppSense will achieve this goal without extending its services beyond the Windows desktop. One clue, as to what this future direction might be lies with the title of part of the view Silcon Valley operation – “The cloud and mobile research center”. I’ve spoken to AppSense quite a few times this year about the need to embrace both cloud and mobile technologies and have suggested to them in the past that they consider either a partnership or out right by of mobile communications start-up, Bitzer Mobile, as a way to jump-start their mobile aspirations. I’m not suggesting that AppSense has any plans in this direction; a partnership with Bitzer would be a way to hit the ground running, but may not be central to the direction that AppSense might want to take. Regardless of this, the prospect of extending AppSense User Virtualization to cloud and mobile platforms would open up a very significant new opportunity for AppSense where there are no clear dominant players to compete with.