Onset’s Mobile Device Archiving and Monitoring

Onset Technology has just launched a product--METAmessage ACT--that monitors and controls mobile devices. This is interesting--content control for mobile devices is only just beginning to happen.

Technology Summary

  • Focus today is on BlackBerry; Windows Mobile version in development.
  • Scans for text strings, specific words, and pattern matches in messages.
  • Depending on customer policy, message can be blocked.
  • Scans RIM email, instant messages, SMS messages, and PIN messages.
  • Customer installs software on a server.
  • Customer installs software on mobile devices.
  • Archiving takes place by emailing all messages to a third-party archiving system; e.g., Symantec Enterprise Vault.


  • Pricing starts at $55 per individual license, with volume discounts.
  • Typical pricing: one server plus 10,000 licenses, about $250,000.
  • 20% maintenance after the first year.

Main Types of Customer

  • Clearly a horizontal sell.
  • However, initial primary markets are financial services, lawyers, and accountants.
  • December 2007 FINRA regulations, in which controls must apply to mobile devices, are important sales drivers.


  • Not much competition right now.
  • Market for control and compliance on mobile devices is in its infancy.

Special Features

  • Scans and controls PINs. These message don't transit a BES server and with other products, are often not monitored.
  • Doesn't just archive messages, but also controls them via customer-defined policies.

Financial Summary

  • $4M/year revenue rate.
  • Has had a total of $5M funding to date; Jerusalem Global Ventures is the lead VC.
  • Approaching breakeven.
  • Additional round of $5M anticipated to close shortly.
  • 35 staff.

... David Ferris

One Comment

  1. Marcio LeBlan
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 8:04 AM | Permalink

    Hey David,

    Sounds like a data leak prevention tool that includes compliance. Cool!
    I wondered how long is it going to take for someone to enter this smartphone market.

    During the past two month’s I had a call from 2 of the main security s/w providers (Symantec & McAfee) asking if this kind of application would be of interest to us (regional bank). Interesting to see how would this one evolve.


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