Security concerns raised by awareness of the NSA have birthed a new market for social messaging apps. Wickr serves people who place high priority on their privacy by letting users send encrypted self-destructing messages.
Today the messaging startup announced that it has raised a $9 million series A round led by Aslope Louie Partners, a VC firm that has backed companies such as Twitch. In 2013 the VC raised a $100 million fund to invest in security companies.
Additional backers include former head of the CIA’s venture arm In-Q-Tel, Gilman Louie, and president of the Human Rights Foundation, Thor Halvorssen among others.
Wickr is reportedly gaining 50,000 to 200,000 new users every day. After the Snapchat data breach, Wickr experienced a 50% spike in their sign-up rate, and another 600% jump after Facebook announced the WhatsApp acquisition. Wickr uses an architecture that bypasses servers by sending messages directly to recipients and allowing users to set a time limit for their messages.
They can only be viewed within the app by pressing on a camera or video icon. Wickr isn’t alone in this new security oriented messaging trend, as it looks to compete with Whisper, and Telegram, a messaging app that gained 8 million new users in the midst of the WhatsApp acquisition.