Company behind the most secure Android phone in the world raises $30M

Blackphone Android Phone

Silent Circle started as an app developer dedicated to creating secure messaging and voice communications solutions. Following last year’s revelations surrounding PRISM and other NSA spying programs, the company decided to take things a step further and develop the “Blackphone” Android smartphone that focuses on security and privacy above all else. Apparently there is quite a bit of demand for such a device, because Silent Circle on Wednesday announced a big new funding round.

According to a press release, Silent Circle has raised a new $30 million round led by Ross Perot Jr. and Cain Capital. Perot Jr. will also join the company’s board of directors.

Silent Circle says it will use the capital raised in this new round to “further accelerate its rapid growth and momentum dominating the secure communications market and to meet the overwhelming demand for Blackphone – the innovative new smartphone putting users in control of their privacy.”

“Today’s announcements mark tremendous momentum in our goal of delivering secure and private communications on a global scale,” Silent Circle CEO Mike Janke said. “Awareness of global privacy threats is irrevocably affecting individuals’ and businesses’ behavior and driving worldwide demand for Silent Circle’s unmatched secure communication technology, calling plans and Blackphone devices. With a customer base including consumers in over 130 countries, 23 of the global Fortune 50 enterprises and governments from 11 nations – we now have the resources to meet the demand for our encrypted mobile voice, video, secure file transfer and international secure calling plans – all available for iOS and Android.”

The company’s full press release follows below.

Silent Circle Raises $30 Million In Funding From New Strategic Investors

Ross Perot Jr. and Cain Capital provide funding to further strengthen Silent Circle’s market leadership and global delivery of unrivaled private communications services

WASHINGTON and LONDON, May 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Silent Circle, the global private communications firm revolutionizing mobile device privacy, secure long-distance calling plans and secure smartphones for organizations and individuals alike, today announced it has raised $30 million in new investment capital in a round of funding led by renowned investors including Ross Perot Jr. and private investment fund Cain Capital LLC. Silent Circle will use these investments to further accelerate its rapid growth and momentum dominating the secure communications market and to meet the overwhelming demand for Blackphone – the innovative new smartphone putting users in control of their privacy. The company also announced that it has added Ross Perot Jr. and Sir Peter Bonfield, the former CEO and chairman of British Telecom, to its Advisory Board and appointed Anurag Jain, formerly a senior Dell executive, as Vice Chairman of the Board.

“Today’s announcements mark tremendous momentum in our goal of delivering secure and private communications on a global scale,” said Silent Circle CEO and co-founder Mike Janke. “Awareness of global privacy threats is irrevocably affecting individuals’ and businesses’ behavior and driving worldwide demand for Silent Circle’s unmatched secure communication technology, calling plans and Blackphone devices. With a customer base including consumers in over 130 countries, 23 of the global Fortune 50 enterprises and governments from 11 nations – we now have the resources to meet the demand for our encrypted mobile voice, video, secure file transfer and international secure calling plans – all available for iOS and Android.”

“It is rare to find innovators like Silent Circle bringing multiple uniquely disruptive technologies to market at such an ideal time to capitalize on both ideas and execution,” said Anurag Jain, a noted entrepreneur and investor. “Having followed Silent Circle’s growth and profile in the industry, we are excited about backing the company’s future and fulfilling the wider demand for accessible, easy to use privacy apps that are already an indispensable means of communication. This is particularly true in fast-growing markets outside of the U.S. where demand for private communications solutions is fueled by strong privacy cultures, intrusive surveillance and censorship.”

Silent Circle is also proud to announce that it is relocating its global headquarters from the Caribbean island of Nevis to Switzerland. With offices outside Washington, D.C. and in London, data centers located in Canada and Switzerland and employees staged around the world, Silent Circle has positioned itself to be a truly neutral and unbiased international company. The decision to relocate its headquarters embodies Silent Circle’s continued commitment to prioritizing individual privacy above all else. “The move to Switzerland is extremely important for us as a company serving a global customer base. Switzerland’s strong privacy laws, legendary neutrality, and economic business advantages will allow us the ability to scale to Silent Circle’s rapid adoption by businesses, governments and individual pro-sumers around the world.” said Vic Hyder, Silent Circle Chief of Revenue.

Silent Circle is changing how the world communicates with confidence in the face of increasing criminal, state-sponsored, commercial, and internet-wide privacy threats impacting people around the world. Silent Circle members use Silent Phone to place high-quality, private voice and video calls on iOS and Android devices and use Out-Circle Access to dial conventional phone numbers, in calls where communications are encrypted between the Silent Phone user’s device and Silent Circle’s private network. Silent Circle’s Silent Phone for Desktop offers additional, private videoconferencing features for users on Windows laptops and desktops. Silent Text allows members to exchange private mobile messages, including large attachments with the “Burn” feature that securely auto-deletes sent messages and attachments at a predetermined time from both senders’ and receivers’ devices.

Silent Circle’s unique private communications apps are also available in Blackphone, the world’s first smartphone placing privacy and control directly in the hands of its users. Developed by SGP Technologies, a Swiss-based joint venture between Silent Circle and Spanish mobile phone developer Geeksphone, Blackphone devices will begin shipping to customers in June and feature PrivatOS, a privacy-enhanced operating system built on Android™ and a full suite of privacy-enabled applications, including Silent Phone and Silent Text.

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