The Blackphone, a smartphone that prioritizes privacy and security, now has a clearer future, thanks to a buyout agreement that makes enterprise privacy company Silent Circle the sole maker of the phone. Flush with $50 million in recently raised funds, Silent Circle is ready to show off “the world’s first enterprise privacy ecosystem” at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2015.
Silent Circle co-founded the Blackphone project with Geeksphone, a Spanish smartphone hardware company, in a joint venture called SGP Technologies. Under terms that were not disclosed, Silent Circle has reached a deal set to close this week that will give it 100 percent ownership stake in SGP Technologies, including the Blackphone project.
Along with its buyout agreement with Geeksphone, Silent Circle announced that it has raised approximately $50 million in a private, common equity round to help the company step into what it calls its second stage of growth.
“Just under a year ago, we introduced Blackphone at Mobile World Congress,” said Mike Janke, co-founder and executive chairman of Silent Circle’s board. “Since then, we’ve continued to develop new, privacy-first products for our integrated software suite as well as Blackphone, the first hardware device in our portfolio of privacy solutions.”
The $629 Blackphone began shipping last June and runs on an operating system called PrivatOS, a privacy-conscious version of Android. In October, Silent Circle revealed that it was working on a tablet called (what else) the Blacktablet, which would also run on PrivatOS.