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May 22, 2014

Blackphone maker Silent Circle gets $30m additional investment

The private communications firm shifts to Switzerland 'for more privacy'.

By CBR Staff Writer

Privacy communications firm Silent Circle raised $30m private capital which it intends to invest in its private mobile Blackphone.

Blackphone, launched in February this year, features PrivatOS, a privacy-enhanced operating system built on Android. The smarphone’s OS and apps are claimed to ensure that conversations and messages are not vulnerable to hackers or government surveillance.

The private mobile is scheduled to be shipped from June, and the company says the fresh capital will enable it to meet the "overwhelming demand for Blackphone".

Silent Circle CEO and co-founder Mike Janke said: "Awareness of global privacy threats is irrevocably affecting individuals’ and businesses’ behaviour 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 funding comes from investors Ross Perot Jr. and private investment fund Cain Capital. Perot Jr., along with former CEO and chairman of BT Sir Peter Bonfield, who will join Silent Circle’s advisory board.

Former senior Dell executive Anurag Jain has been appointed as vice-chairman of the board.

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The company is also shifting its headquarters from the Caribbean island of Nevis to Switzerland.

Silent Circle Chief of Revenue Vic Hyder said: "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."

Silent Circle was co-founded by former US Navy SEAL Mike Janke, internet encryption expert Phil Zimmermann and creator of Apple’s whole disk encryption Jon Callas.

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