Encrypted comms firm Silent Circle has just announced a new funding round which it says has been fueled by demand in the privacy-focused smartphone, Blackphone, the security hardened Android handset it’s building with Spanish startup Geeksphone. Privacy, it seems, is a hot new investment area in these post-Snowden times. It’s also rather fitting, given Silent Circle was forced to preemptively shutter its encrypted email service last summer, in the wake of the NSA spying revelations, since it didn’t want to be complicit with government snooping on its users.
Silent Circle has secured $30 million in funding to support accelerated growth and meet demand for the privacy-based Blackphone. The private communications firm announced the round of funding on Wednesday. Led by investors Ross Perot Jr. and private investment fund Cain Capital LLC, Silent Circle was able to secure $30 million in total. The company says the cash will be used to support expansion of the company and to boost production of the Blackphone due to “overwhelming demand.” The Blackphone features PrivatOS, a privacy-enhanced operating system based on Android and contains Silent Circle’s full suite of privacy apps, including Silent Phone and Silent Text. Communication is encrypted between the Silent Phone user’s device and Silent Circle’s private network, and both message and attachments sent via the network can be set to self-destruct within a particular time period. The Blackphone will be shipped from next month.