Kara Swisher

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Accel Keeps Its Wallet Open: Lookout Grabs $11 Million in Funding and Adds Execs

Accel Partners has been pretty busy handing over giant wads of dough to start-ups this week–and today is focusing its largess on San Francisco-based Lookout, a smartphone security provider.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based venture firm will be the lead investor in an $11 million Series B funding round for Lookout, which offers solutions to protect phones from malware and viruses, back up and restore valuable data and help users find their phones in the event they are lost or stolen.

Accel Partner Ping Li will join the start-up’s board.

Lookout currently works only on phones using Google (GOOG) Android, Research in Motion (RIMM) BlackBerry and Microsoft (MSFT) Windows Mobile operating systems.

Previous venture investors Khosla Ventures and Trilogy Partnership are also participating. The pair, along with angel investors such as Chris Sacca, had already put $5.5 million into Lookout late last year. The company was founded as Flexilis in 2007.

Lookout said the former CEO of Vontu and executive at Symantec (SYMC), Joseph Ansanelli, would become chairman of Lookout and that it had brought in other execs, including a former Yahoo (YHOO) staffer. Ansanelli has been an angel investor in Lookout.

Here’s the official press release:

Lookout Closes $11 Million in Series B Funding Led by Accel Partners

Explosive Growth in Smartphone Market Underscores Need for Mobile Security

SAN FRANCISCO–May 18, 2010–Lookout, the leader in smartphone security, today announced an $11 Million Series B round of funding led by Accel Partners with Khosla Ventures and Trilogy Partnership also participating. The company also announced that it has added several new executives to its leadership team, including former CEO of Vontu and executive at Symantec, Joseph Ansanelli, as Chairman of the Board.

“The smartphone market is exploding, and consumers are downloading third-party apps by the hundreds, making security an increasingly vital component of the mobile market,” said Ping Li, Partner at Accel Partners, who will join the board. “Consumers need to know that their applications, their data, and their phone itself are protected. We are excited to work with Lookout as they continue to extend their lead in this dynamic market.”

The global smartphone market grew more than 50% during the past year and as a result, consumers have been introduced to thousands of third-party applications across leading mobile platforms through app stores and downloaded sites. The Android Marketplace alone gives consumers access to more than 50,000 applications. While they enjoy the benefits of these applications, consumers are often unaware of the risks that accompany their increased data and application usage. Similar to the PC market, as consumers do more with their phones, they need protection from threats such as mobile viruses and malware, data loss and theft of the phone itself.

Lookout has developed cross-platform, cloud-connected applications that immediately identify and block threats before they compromise a consumer’s mobile phone, backup and restore mobile content, find a lost or stolen phone and wipe data from a phone if necessary. Available now on more than 400 mobile networks in 170 countries, Lookout prevents thousands of malicious applications, finds countless lost phones and restores important information for users every month.

“We are thrilled to receive such enthusiastic support from Accel Partners,” said John Hering, CEO and founder of Lookout. “Their backing is recognition of Lookout’s accomplishments to date and a testament to the importance of this market. With this additional financing, we’ll continue to invest in new technology and infrastructure so that we can provide the most comprehensive smartphone protection available to millions of consumers worldwide.”

Lookout Executive Additions

Joseph Ansanelli brings his extensive knowledge of security to Lookout as Chairman of the Board. Prior to Lookout, he served as CEO and co-founder of Vontu, turning the company into the leading provider of data loss prevention solutions before being acquired by Symantec in 2007.

In addition to Ansanelli, Lookout has also added several key members to the company’s executive team including Eric Bothwell as vice president of engineering, who formerly held engineering leadership positions at Vontu and Symantec; Chris Jones as vice president of product management, formerly senior director of portfolio product management at Symantec; and Julie Herendeen as vice president of marketing, formerly vice president of network products and advertising solutions for Yahoo! Inc.


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