Friday, April 24, 2015

  • Friday, April 24, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Globes:
Mobile phone manufacturer BlackBerry is buying Israeli file-sharing security company WatchDox. The Canadian company did not disclose financial details about the acquisition but sources close to the deal say that the Canadian company will pay $100 million for WatchDox, which has developed a technology to protect files and documents.

Sources inform "Globes" that Blackberry will set up a development center in Israel based on the acquisition of WatchDox, which employs 100 in its Petah Tikva office.

Founded in 2008 by CEO Moti Rafalin, VP products Noam Livnat and Yuval Yaeger, WatchDox has raised $35 million to date from Shlomo Kramer (the company's chairman), Gemini Israel Ventures, Shasta Ventures, MTVP, Blackstone, and private investors. Shareholders, according to the company registry, include Mickey Boodaei and Rakesh Loonkar, who together with Kramer founded Trusteer, which was sold to IBM for $700 million in August 2013.

BlackBerry executive chairman and CEO John Chen said "BlackBerry is constantly expanding the potential of data security so that it enables more collaboration and sharing rather than creating limitations. This acquisition represents another key step forward as we transition BlackBerry into the premier platform for secure mobile communications software and applications, supporting all devices and operating systems. Together with last year's Secusmart acquisition, Samsung partnership, our own internal development efforts, and now the acquisition of WatchDox, we now have capabilities to secure communications end-to-end from voice, text, messaging, data and now enterprise file-sync-and share."

WatchDox serves leading organizations across a variety of industry sectors in which secure collaboration and mobility are essential, including government, healthcare, financial services, manufacturing, law and media.
While some may think that Blackberry is yesterday's news, they have been changing their strategy lately away from their devices and more towards software that works across all mobile platforms. WatchDox is a perfect example; it is sort of a secure DropBox for business.

Blackberry now joins a long line of high-tech companies with development centers in Israel, such as Intel, Apple, Google and Microsoft. For some reason I have not been hearing any noises from the BDS crowd about boycotting any of them.

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