Many people would consider themselves lucky to be a part of one successful start-up company, but for a select group of entrepreneurs, engineers and executives, that’s just the beginning. Such is the case for the team behind new mobile security firm Bluebox, a stealth-mode company that counts SPI Dynamics founder Caleb Sima and Adam Ely, a former top security official at Salesforce.com and Disney among its key executives and has just raised $9.5 million in funding.
The investors who have committed funding to the new company include venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, where Sima was an entrepreneur-in-residence recently, and Andreas Bechtolsheim, one of the original investors in Google. Another investor is Brian Cohen, the former CEO of SPI Dynamics.
“Enterprise security on mobile is an unsolved problem, and, frankly, is in need of innovation,” said Bechtolsheim. “Bluebox is developing a solution that will change the way enterprises think of how to successfully and seamlessly protect their data.”
Bluebox executives are mum so far on exactly what the company’s product offering will be, but the company’s name offers an intriguing hint. A blue box is a device that’s used by phone phreakers to confuse the long-distance phone system and game it for free calls. The mobile threat landscape has been changing rapidly in the last couple of years as the adoption of smartphones such as iPhones and Androids has exploded. Attackers have been targeting these devices with a variety of different scams, including malicious apps inserted into app stores, scareware, rogue AV, SMS-stealing Trojans and other assorted badness.
How Bluebox plans to address this threat environment remains to be seen, but the company’s leadership team has a strong background in application security. Sima, the new company’s CEO, led the technology side of SPI Dynamics, a pioneer in the application security market that was acquired by HP. Sima also was an early member of ISS’s X-Force research team.
Ely has an equally solid background in security, having been the CISO of the Heroku unit at Salesforce and a security lead at TiVo and Walt Disney.
Bluebox officials said the company plans to have its product available by the end of the year.