Blackphone Maker Silent Circle Raises $30 Million in Funding

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Blackphone Maker Silent Circle Raises $30 Million in Funding
Silent Circle, a company that sells mobile phones and apps designed to thwart government surveillance, said on Wednesday it has raised $30 million in financing in a round led by Ross Perot Jr. and private investment fund Cain Capital LLC.

The company sells apps for Apple Inc's iOS and devices using Google Inc's Android operating systems that encrypt phone calls and texts. It also offers secure video conferencing for machines running Microsoft Corp's Windows software.

In February it launched "Blackphone," a mobile phone loaded with a customized version of the Android operating system known as PrivateOS and loaded with a suite of security and privacy apps.

The company also said on Wednesday that it added Perot and Sir Peter Bonfield, the former chief executive and chairman of British Telecom, to its advisory board. It named former Dell executive Anurag Jain as vice chairman of the board.

Silent Circle was founded by former Navy SEAL and security expert Mike Janke, Internet encryption expert Phil Zimmermann and Jon Callas, creator of Apple's whole disk encryption system.

Geeksphone, a Spanish smartphone maker, along with Silent Circle announced the Blackphone at MWC. The smartphone went up for pre-order at $629 in February. The Blackphone's specifications include a 4.7-inch HD (720x1280 pixels) IPS display; quad-core Nvidia Tegra 4i SoC 2GB of RAM; 16GB inbuilt storage; 8-megapixel rear camera; 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera; Bluetooth 4.0; LTE connectivity; Wi-Fi 802.11n, GPS and HSPA+.

(Also see: Blackphone secure Android smartphone to pack Nvidia Tegra 4i chipset)

Other features of the Blackphone include a 2000mAh battery and the phone supports single Micro-SIM slot. The Blackphone is powered by a customised version of Android made by the company in association with Silent Circle, called PrivatOS and it is based on Google's Android 4.4 KitKat.

Written with inputs from Reuters

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