BlackBerry acquires WatchDox for $100m

Shlomo Kramer

The Canadian mobile phone manufacturer will set up an Israel R&D center based on the acquisition of WatchDox.

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.

This is Kramer's third exit in the past two months after he sold Lacoon and HyperWise to Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: CHKP).

In December 2012, WatchDox itself acquired Israeli company InstallFree, which provides solutions for access to remote computers.

In 2012, "Globes" chose WatchDox as one of Israel's most promising start-ups.

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.

Rafalin said "Enterprises require secure mobile solutions that enable users to more easily collaborate and increase their productivity. WatchDox meets this need by uniting data-centric security with a user-friendly experience that is highly valued by our customers. The combination of BlackBerry's security leadership and EMM portfolio with WatchDox technology will bring the most productive and collaborative mobility solution to organizations that need innovative ways to conduct business securely and efficiently."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 21, 2015

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2015

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Shlomo Kramer
Shlomo Kramer
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