Encrypted communications company Silent Circle has raised $50 million in a series C round led by Santander Bank.
Founded out of Geneva, Switzerland, in 2012, Silent Circle produces a suite of privacy-focused software and services for enterprises. This includes the Silent Phone app that can be installed on devices to provide secure calls, messaging, and file-sharing, while the Silent Manager admin console gives company head honchos control of users, groups, plans, and devices across the organization.
Back in 2014, Silent Circle partnered with hardware maker Geeksphone to make its first mobile phone, the $600 Blackphone. A year later, Silent Circle bought Geeksphone out to gain full control over the brand, and later that year launched the follow-up Blackphone 2, an $800 device that proclaims to be “private by design.”
Cybersecurity has been a hot market for investment in recent times. Just this week, Bay Dynamics raised $23 million to grow its cybersecurity risk analytics platform, while in the weeks that preceded it Post-Quantum raised $8 million, Darktrace nabbed $65 million, SecurityScorecard closed a $20 million round, and Cylance wolfed down $100 million. And with consumers and companies going increasingly mobile, startups such as Silent Circle that specialize in mobile security are particularly ripe for investment.
“We all run our work and personal lives from our mobile devices,” said Antony Barker, a managing director with Santander Bank. “That makes secure mobile communications an absolute must-have for a rapidly expanding number of companies, governments, and individuals.”
Silent Circle isn’t the only company to tout privacy as key selling points. BlackBerry recently entered the Android fray with the $700 privacy-focused Priv phone, while Sirin Labs went to market with the extortionate $14,000 Solarin smartphone.
Prior to today’s news, Silent Circle had raised around $80 million in funding, and its fresh cash infusion will be used to “expand product development, customer service, business development, and marketing activities” while also eliminating debt it had accrued.
“Today’s announcement is a key milestone as we continue to set the bar for what’s required in secure mobile communications,” said Silent Circle cofounder and chairman Mike Janke. “Our growth in new customers, coupled with expanding engagements with our existing enterprise and government clients, underscores the pressing need for our enterprise privacy platform and the business-critical value proposition it embodies.”