Messaging App Wickr Secures $9M+ From World’s Leading VCs, Entrepreneurs, Hackers And Feds
By Nico Sell, Cofounder CEO
March 3, 2014
I’m excited to announce that Wickr has raised a Series A investment of more than expected – over $9 million! Gilman Louie of Alsop Louie is leading the round with strategic investments from Juniper Networks and Knight Foundation. World-class entrepreneurs, hackers and feds have also invested their personal time and money into Wickr, including Rod Beckstrom, Steven Bestalel, Eileen Burbidge, Richard Clarke, Gerhard Eschelbeck, Thor Halvorssen, John Hering, Paul Kocher, Jeff Moss, Mark Patterson, Terren Peizer, Shawn Rubin, Adrian Steckel, Joel Wallenstrom and Amit Yoran. This is an amazing team!
Together, we are dedicated to building a strong social system around the world by giving private communications to everyone. Wickr now serves over a million top-secret messages a day to people in 190 countries. Usage is doubling every two months. Once a Wickr user, always a Wickr user. Our loyalty factor is high because we are a rare app that treats its customers right. Wickr is one of the only social media apps I let my kids use.
Wickr is the first investment for Alsop Louie’s third fund focused on security. Gilman Louie is joining me on the Wickr board of directors. Gilman is most known for InQTel and Tetris, but that is just the beginning. He is my number one pick for a lead investor because he is a true visionary, fun to work with and dedicated to making the world a better place. He also has a long standing history of protecting privacy.
“We need to protect our information and communication (as well as our children’s) against misuse,” said Gilman Louie, partner at Alsop Louie. Most Information is not only time sensitive but also time relevant. Like milk, information has a shelf life, in which if it sits beyond its usefulness date, the information can turn bad and cause harm. Wickr’s expiration date helps protect users by making sure all information and communications do not live beyond a desired date.”
Juniper Networks is also investing in our Series A. Juniper and Wickr are perfectly aligned to offer trusted communications in an innovative fashion to carriers and enterprises on every continent. Now is the time for a communication revolution. Partnering with carriers is a focus for Wickr in 2014.
The Knight Foundation’s mission is to support transformative digital business’s that provide information for the public good. This fits perfectly with the mission of Wickr. One of the reasons we made Wickr was to connect whistleblowers and reporters. Freedom of the press is extremely important to a healthy society. The Knight Foundation is a leader in empowering press, education and art to make the world a better place. We are honored to work with them as a strategic investor.
We have assembled the best people in the world to help us build the most trusted communication system by giving power to the people. Wickr users own their pictures and conversations, decide who sees them for how long and are the only ones with the key. These are features everyone wants but were never available. In doing so, Wickr defends the universal human right to private communication. This right is extremely important to a free society.
“I am convinced there is a huge market that will make Wickr successful, but more over, we need it. This is an important mission for all of us,” said Richard Clarke, Wickr investor and advisor to numerous presidents. Richard recently authored a report on surveillance for President Obama stressing the importance of privacy: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/20/opinion/protecting-citizens-and-theirprivacy.html.
“Many human rights activists and whistleblowers across the world depend on Wickr to communicate with major human rights groups. Wickr makes it possible to envision a world where everyone enjoys privacy. This has huge implications for freedom of conscience and freedom of expression, let alone human rights monitoring and activism,” said Thor Halvorssen, Wickr investor and President of the Human Rights Foundation. “If people are serious about protecting their data they will need this valuable tool. A side benefit is that every new wickr account is a check on the surveillance state.”
Making money is good, but making a difference at the same time is priceless. By giving power to the people we can change the world and make a ton of money to support the cause. Wickr’s core functionality will always be free. Our goal is to offer millions, then billions of people all over the world trusted communications. We plan to be profitable by convincing our powerusers, the top three percent, to pay for pro texting and calling. Wickr will save our users money on their phone bills without having to give up their privacy.
At Wickr, we believe in working with the best minds. If you are a genius interested in changing the world, please contact us privately via Wickr at username “escapethenet.” App developers, please join us in our mission! We need you most.
The Wickr team is made up of security and privacy experts who strongly believe online communications should be untraceable by default. Wickr is a free app enabling anyone to send text, audio, picture and video messages that self-destruct because they are private, secure and anonymous. Unlike any other messaging app, Wickr binds each message to your device, clears metadata from files, permanently shreds deleted files from your device and knows nothing about you.
Since launching in June 2012, Wickr has seen an exponential growth and 5-star reviews in the App Store and Google Play. As a top ranked free social app in the U.S., China, India, Israel, Spain, South Africa and Brazil, we serve over a million top-secret messages a day in 190 countries. Wickr is headquartered in San Francisco, CA. More information is available at https://www.mywickr.com.
Wickr is the future of messaging. Join us if you haven’t already. It’s free!