Smartphone Security Startup Privoro Raises $30 Million

Privoro, which makes hardware that protects smartphones and mobile devices from spyware, has landed $30 million in Series B funding led by Tracker Capital. Former Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers also is an investor in Privoro.

The Chandler, Arizona-based startup will use the money to flesh out its workforce, expand its product lines and fit operations to meet demand for its hardware-backed mobile device protections.

Privoro’s flagship SafeCase solution couples with a smartphone to help organizations defend against cyber attackers surreptitiously aiming malware at cameras and microphones of mobile devices. In particular, SafeCase guards against hackers looking to extract sensitive information and surveil locations where highly secure communication is required.

The mobile device security specialist has been working with its government partners to tailor its offerings to secure smartphones “within secure spaces where classified information is shared,” said Mike Fong, Privoro’s founder and chief executive. “This latest funding round is a testament to the fact that our company is uniquely positioned to solve critical customer problems related to delivering secure mobility.”

So far, Privoro’s partner program focuses mainly on resellers and distributors. Some big-name IT consulting firms — such as World Wide Technology — have joined the program. We’re watching to see if Privoro launches MSP- and MSSP-centric partner programs.

Potential U.S. Intelligence Community Use

SafeCase was recently approved for use in classified facilities by the National Telecommunications Security Working Group, the primary technical and policy resource for surveillance countermeasures in the U.S. Intelligence Community, Privoro said. The company expects SafeCase to serve as the centerpiece of additional critical use cases, he said.

Privoro also offers Vault, a two-in-one portable Faraday enclosure and audio masking chamber for smartphones that protects users from wireless attacks, location tracking, and audio/video surveillance, officials said.

“Within the national security community, the use of commercial smartphones has long been viewed more as an operational vulnerability than a tool for driving mission success,” said Louis Bremer, Tracker Capital senior managing director of Tracker Capital. “We believe that Privoro’s current and future products will change this paradigm and in so doing unleash an exciting new era of secure mobility.”

Privoro Board; John Chambers Involvement

As part of the transaction, Bremer and Daniel Goldin, Tracker Capital senior advisor, have joined Privoro’s board of directors. Goldin is the longest tenured National Aeronautics and Space Administration administrator.

John Chambers, a Privoro investor and former Cisco executive chairman and chief executive, said the company’s additional capital will be used to “turbocharge” its development and position itself as the U.S. “leader of secure mobility.”

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