BlackBerry is extending its reach in secure communications with its latest acquisition, Israeli file-sharing service WatchDox. WatchDox is the leading secure enterprise file sync and sharing (EFSS) solution, enabling users to share, work with and control their files on every device. Think of it like Dropbox or other services like it, but made for the enterprise with more security layers built into it to make it even safer than its competitors.
According to the Geektime’s report, the deal is worth between $150-$200 million, and will have BlackBerry set up a development center in Israel which employs 100 current company personnel.
Founded in 2008, WatchDox has raised over $35 million from different investors, and has become known worldwide as a leader in technology aimed at protecting files and documents.
Update: BlackBerry has officially confirmed the acquisition. Check out the press release below.
BlackBerry Acquiring WatchDox to Bolster Mobile Content Security and Enterprise Collaboration
WATERLOO, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – April 21, 2015) – BlackBerry Limited (NASDAQ:BBRY)(TSX:BB), a global leader in mobile communications, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire WatchDox Ltd. to further enhance BlackBerry’s best-in-class mobile security and give enterprises unmatched control over their files even after data leaves the corporate network. WatchDox’s technology will be offered as a value-added service that complements BlackBerry’s Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) portfolio, and will be available with BES12, a multi-OS EMM solution.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.
WatchDox is a data security company offering the most secure enterprise file-sync-and-share (EFSS) solutions that allow users to protect, share and work with their files on any device(1). WatchDox security travels with shared files on both mobile and desktop devices to give organizations full visibility and control over how files are edited, copied, printed or forwarded. 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.
The addition of WatchDox will extend BlackBerry’s commitment to help organizations securely connect employees 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.
“BlackBerry is constantly expanding the potential of data security so that it enables more collaboration and sharing rather than creating limitations,” said John Chen, BlackBerry Executive Chairman and CEO. “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.”
Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, with research and development facilities in Petah Tikva, Israel, 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.
“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,” said Moti Rafalin, WatchDox CEO and founder. “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.”
“Sharing data outside the corporate walls can significantly increase workforce productivity, but can open an enterprise to serious financial and reputational risk if not implemented with the proper control,” said Maribel Lopez, Principal and Founder, Lopez Research. “WatchDox provides this control and truly focuses on data-centric security. Their enterprise file-sync-and-share technology will be an important enhancement to BlackBerry’s cross-platform EMM portfolio, as it delivers new capabilities while ensuring the level of security that enterprises have come to expect from BlackBerry.”
The acquisition of WatchDox will form the basis of a new security-focused BlackBerry R&D center in Israel. BlackBerry’s acquisition of WatchDox follows last year’s purchase of Secusmart, a leader in high-security voice and data encryption, and is the latest demonstration of the company’s commitment to being the first name in enterprise mobile security. This commitment is why BlackBerry customers include all G7 governments, 16 of the G20 governments, 10 out of 10 of the largest global banks and law firms, and the top five largest managed healthcare, investment services, and oil and gas companies. BlackBerry also has more security certifications than any other vendor and BlackBerry 10 is the only mobility solution to receive “Full Operational Capability” (FOC) approval to run on U.S. Department of Defense networks.
(1) “Critical Capabilities for Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing,” 13 August 2014, Gartner
A global leader in mobile communications, BlackBerry® revolutionized the mobile industry when it was introduced in 1999. Today, BlackBerry aims to inspire the success of our millions of customers around the world by continuously pushing the boundaries of mobile experiences. Founded in 1984 and based in Waterloo, Ontario, BlackBerry operates offices in North America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America. The Company trades under the ticker symbols “BB” on the Toronto Stock Exchange and “BBRY” on the NASDAQ. For more information, visit www.BlackBerry.com.
WatchDox is the leading secure enterprise file-sync-and-share (EFSS) solution, enabling users to share, work with and control their files on every device. Available as SaaS, a virtual appliance or a hybrid, the award-winning WatchDox platform provides a single pane of glass to work with personal and enterprise content, uniquely combining consumer-style app interfaces with security that can be dialed up to suit any enterprise use case. More than 150 of the Fortune 1000 – including the largest civilian federal agencies, six of the top twelve private equity firms and five of the six major Hollywood studios, healthcare firms and manufacturers – depend on WatchDox secure file-sharing solutions. For more information, visit www.WatchDox.com.
Forward-looking statements in this news release are made pursuant to the “safe harbor” provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and applicable Canadian securities laws. When used herein, words such as “expect”, “anticipate”, “estimate”, “may”, “will”, “should”, “intend”, “believe”, and similar expressions, are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on estimates and assumptions made by BlackBerry Limited in light of its experience and its perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments, as well as other factors that BlackBerry believes are appropriate in the circumstances. Many factors could cause BlackBerry’s actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including those described in the “Risk Factors” section of BlackBerry’s Annual Information Form, which is included in its Annual Report on Form 40-F (copies of which filings may be obtained at www.sedar.com or www.sec.gov). These factors should be considered carefully, and readers should not place undue reliance on BlackBerry’s forward-looking statements. BlackBerry has no intention and undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.
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