Ina Fried

Recent Posts by Ina Fried

Mobile Security Specialist Lookout Secures Another $40 Million in Funding

Proving once again that it is adept at more than just securing mobile devices, Lookout Mobile Security said Wednesday that it has landed a further $40 million in a financing round led by Andreessen Horowitz.

As part of the investment, Andreessen’s Jeff Jordan will join Lookout’s board of directors. In addition to Andreessen Horowitz, current Lookout investors Khosla Ventures, Accel Partners and Index Ventures also increased their investments.

To put his firm’s millions into Lookout, Jordan also had to invest in a new wardrobe. He was meeting with Lookout CEO John Hering at a Fortune conference in Aspen earlier this year, and decided he wanted to get the term sheet done then and there. Jordan extended his trip by a day, but didn’t have enough clothes and had to fly back in an outfit he picked up at a nearby sporting goods store.

Still, Jordan reckons Lookout is worth the investment in both dollars and clothing.

“Tons of people are trying to turn your phone into your wallet,” Jordan told AllThingsD. “There is going to be a screaming need for security on mobile devices.”

Jordan, who spent time running eBay’s payments and PayPal businesses, said he saw firsthand the lengths that crooks will go to when there is money to be had. As cash moves to mobile devices, security threats will, too, he said. Already this year, Lookout is seeing monthly instances of malware equal to what it saw for all of calendar 2010.

The new funding will help Lookout as it looks to expand internationally and onto other mobile devices, as well as to beef up the back-end infrastructure that powers Lookout’s service.

“There’s some very exciting things we can do with tablets,” Hering said in an interview.

As part of the announcement, Lookout notes that its software is now installed on 12 million smartphones, up about a million devices from last month. Hering said the company is now approaching 100 employees. Just 18 months ago, Hering said, the company had 10 employees and about 100,000 people using its service.

One of the biggest risks the company faces is growing itself quickly enough; the additional money and Jordan’s experience should both help on that front, Hering said.

“It just was a no-brainer for us,” he said.

The company is also outgrowing its space and plans to move to larger digs in December, just a few blocks from its current San Francisco offices.

“We’ve been growing incredibly quickly,” Hering said.

Lookout raised money twice last year, including a $19.5 million Series B round that was announced in December, and $11 million in funding back in May.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik