At face value, this could be just another (welcome!) blog about a great acquisition, but scratch a little deeper and today's news that Worklight are about to be acquired by IBM is a story of staggeringly creative entrepreneurship at work.
That story starts six years ago, when Shahar Kaminitz and Yuval Tarsi launched Worklight under the name of Serendipity. The initial vision was to enable business users to access information buried in hard-to-reach enterprise databases via flexible and consumer-style interfaces.
This foray to “consumerize the enterprise” was captured by Shahar’s quote in the announcement of the Series A in September 2006. He said then: "There is a tremendous need to simplify the way enterprise application data is accessed by knowledge workers and customers and we are determined to take the leadership position in this nascent market".
So far so good. But as Shahar flew around Europe and the US to evangelize Worklight’s middleware offering, it became increasingly clear that what businesses really wanted was to extend application functionalities to smartphones and tablets for the benefit of customers and employees. However this represented a major challenge due to the wide variety of mobile operating systems and form factors.
Recognizing a big opportunity, Shahar had the agility of mind to reevaluate the path the company was taking. He pivoted Worklight to build a full-fledged mobile application platform enabling to build optimized html5, native or hybrid applications while maximizing code reuse.
This swift, intelligent refocusing of the company paid quick dividends. Several major infrastructure players noticed that the platform was getting rapid market acceptance. IBM’s application integration middleware group (aka Websphere) made the first move, attracted by the perfect architectural fit.
Congratulation to the Worklight team for building a powerful platform that dramatically improves developer productivity and provides security, integration and operational control. Congratulations to Marie Wieck and the AIM group for identifying early the potential of Worklight and nurturing the relationship over 18 months. Finally, congratulations to our co-investors Genesis, Pitango and Shlomo Kramer who have been fantastic to work with.
The mobile opportunity is just beginning. Stay tuned for more activity by Index Ventures.