Zoom acquires Andreessen Horowitz-backed message encryption startup Keybase

Zoom has embarked on a '90-day security plan' after receiving a lot of flak for its poor privacy measures. The Keybase acquisition is a push in that direction.

8th May 2020
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Zoom has acquired message encryption and security startup Keybase for an undisclosed amount. As part of its 90-day security plan, the team of encryption engineers at Keybase will be joining Zoom to accelerate privacy measures on the platform.


Keybase will identify, address, and enhance the security capabilities of the massively popular video-conferencing platform. Keybase Co-founder Max Krohn will be leading Zoom’s security engineering team now, and they will be reporting directly to Zoom Founder and CEO Eric S. Yuan.


Yuan announced in a statement,


"Keybase brings deep encryption and security expertise to Zoom, and we’re thrilled to welcome Max and his team. Bringing on a cohesive group of security engineers like this significantly advances our 90-day plan to enhance our security efforts.”


This acquisition marks a key step for Zoom as it endeavours to build a fully private video communication platform for its 300 million and counting daily users.


Keybase

Keybase for MacOS




The Silicon Valley startup has received a lot of flak lately for its security lapses, including account hacking, 'zoombombing', and other privacy nightmares for its users. Zoom is out to fix that and "provide the most privacy possible for every use case".


Eric explained,


“There are end-to-end encrypted communications platforms. There are communications platforms with easily deployable security. There are enterprise-scale communications platforms. We believe that no current platform offers all of these. This is what Zoom plans to build, giving our users security, ease of use, and scale, all at once. The first step is getting the right team together."


Keybase was launched in 2014 as a directory for public encryption keys, and has since then evolved into a secure private messaging network with file-sharing features.


The New York-based startup raised a Series A round of $10.8 million led by Andreessen Horowitz, Chris Dixon (who also backed Oculus and Airware), and others in 2015.


"Keybase is thrilled to join Team Zoom. Our team is passionate about security and privacy, and it is an honour to be able to bring our encryption expertise to a platform used by hundreds of millions of participants a day," Co-founder Krohn stated.

(Edited by Suman Singh)

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