AppSense, a 12-year-old vendor in the user virtualization space, has taken its first-ever round of venture capital funding -- a $70 million infusion from Goldman Sachs.
In a Wednesday blog post, AppSense Senior Product Marketing Manager Gareth Kitson said the plan is to use the $70 million infusion "to fuel further growth" of the company's user virtualization business and tap into an market opportunity that's poised to reach $2 billion over "the next couple of years."
The $70 million will go toward building AppSense's infrastructure, operations, global presence, technology, sales and marketing and helping the company take advantage of the strong market interest in user virtualization, according to Kitson. "The investment will enable faster expansion into new territories where demand for AppSense technologies is exceeding supply," Kitson said in the blog post.
Kitson said Goldman Sachs acquired "a minority share" of AppSense but didn't specify what percentage. In addition to the VC funding, Pete Perrone, managing director at Goldman Sachs, is joining AppSense's board of directors.
User virtualization tackles the IT challenge of preserving and managing an employee's personal workspace across a range of different devices and connection scenarios, whether the desktop is locally installed, virtualized, published, or streamed. The technology helps IT standardize desktop builds and application delivery and removes the tedium of copying files manually from the desktop migration process.
"With large complex IT projects, such as Windows 7, if you remove the user component, the job is significantly cheaper, quicker and easier," Kitson said.
AppSense, which started out in the U.K. and is now based in New York City, has partnerships with VMware, Microsoft, Citrix and McAfee. AppSense says it sold 1.5 million user licenses in 2010 and saw revenue grow 60 percent. AppSense currently has 4,000 customers worldwide in the private and public sectors and says orders are also on the upswing, spiking 80 percent in the past quarter.
"AppSense are highly profitable, financially stable and have to date taken no external investment," Kitson said.
User virtualization has been around for years but is now attracting more attention because of the flexibility it provides in a variety of environments.
"From Terminal Services and Citrix XenApp environments through to desktop virtualization, operating system migrations, application virtualization, client hypervisor and cloud-based infrastructures, AppSense technology has evolved to ensure an optimum and seamless working experience to the user regardless of how they receive their desktop," according to AppSense's company profile.