While Blackberry’s handset sales might not have gone up by much, the Canadian firm however looks confident of its suite of enterprise-class security offerings. Now, to further bolster that wing, the company has acquired Israeli startup WatchDox. The acquisition, which earlier under speculation, has also been confirmed by Blackberry.
The entire acquisition’s value is being pegged to the North of $150 Million, though no confirmation on financials has been received from Blackberry’s end. The deal was signed earlier this week, and following the acquisition, BlackBerry will open its first R&D center in Israel, where WatchDox is based.
WatchBox is one of the fastest growing startups in the security domain, offering enterprise level secured file sharing solutions. More like a Dropbox space with a security layer over it.
Founded in 2008 by CEO Moti Rafalin and VP products Noam Livnat, 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.
Through WatchBox’s platform, employees within a particular company can share and edit files collaboratively and can also sync them across all of their devices. Then what’s new you ask ? Well, unlike other file sharing and syncing options, WatchBox’s platform allows the company to have control over which employee can few which specific file among others.
The solution also allows end users to revoke access or delete files remotely, enables secure mobile productivity for repositories both in the cloud and on premises, and gives administrators the ability to lock or remove access to files compromised in a data breach.
Blackberry believes that the addition of WatchDox will extend its scope of providing a secured way for employees to share data with each other and with corporate information across all mobile and desktop platforms. BES12 is the foundation for BlackBerry’s extensive portfolio of enterprise security, productivity, and communication and collaboration services.
To date, BlackBerry has now made 25 acquisitions, with security-focused buys including Certicom (which counts the NSA as a customer) and Secusmart.