Mobile security startup Bluebox eases out of stealth mode today with an announcement of $9.5 million in Series A funding, but doesn't plan a product announcement until later this year.
Based in San Francisco, Bluebox was founded earlier this year by Caleb Sima, its CEO, and Adam Ely, its chief operating officer. The firm is said to have just under 10 employees. The $9.5 million in funding comes from Andreessen Horowitz, as well as Andreas Bechtolsheim, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, with other investors that include SV Angel; Ram Shriram, board member at Google; and Brian Cohen, former CEO of SPI Dynamics. The name "Bluebox" originated with phone hackers back in the 1960s and 1970s as the term for the kind of unauthorized homemade devices they came up with to route calls over long-distance networks, and for the company's founders, it's just a sly wink to a past era.
"We all got our start around those times," says Ely, previously chief information security officer of the Heroku business unit at Salesforce.com, whose background also includes security duties with TiVo, and The Walt Disney Company divisions ABC.com, ESPN.com and Disney.com. Sima was previously chief technology officer at HP's Application Security center, directing Web application security solutions. He joined HP after it acquired SPI Dynamics, the company he founded and led as chief technology officer, overseeing Web application security testing tools.
Bluebox isn't saying much about its plans except that it will be focusing on mobile security, drawing from its founders' experience. Ely says the startup's product is being tested by companies at present, and that the official product unveiling is expected before year-end.
Ellen Messmer is senior editor at Network World, an IDG publication and website, where she covers news and technology trends related to information security.