Sirin Labs raises $72m from Moshe Hogeg, Kenges Rakishev, and China’s Renren

Israel-based ultra-secure smartphone maker company Sirin Labs has raised $72 million in a seed round from Moshe Hogeg and Kenges Rakishev, both co-founders of Singulariteam, a private VC fund, as well as Chinese social networking service Renren, according to a report.

Hogeg and Rakishev are also the founders of Sirin Labs, having started the company in 2013 after the latter’s phone was hacked into.

Hogeg told TechCrunch, “Rakishev called me to share the story about his hacked phone and asked why he was unable to find a mobile phone that would ensure privacy while meeting the needs of an international business person, and why the new technology he saw in tech shows and tech publications wasn’t available in consumer devices.”

Sirin Labs is working on releasing a smartphone in a brick and mortar store in London this May. Each phone will likely be priced between $10,000 and $15,000.

“It won’t be the most expensive phone in the world…Tesla is a good example for us. They started with high priced cars, but today their car prices are much lower,” added Hogeg.

The phone, which will run on the Android operating system, will be marketed to Fortune 500 firms that require both access to apps that are only available on certain operating systems and a high level of security. The company came up with a prototype last September, and it is unclear which stage of development it is at right now.

Sirin Labs CEO Tal Cohen wrote in an email to Tech in Asia, “Unlike mainstream technology companies where price is paramount, Sirin Labs doesn’t need to wait a couple of years before bringing the most advanced technology to its customers. We can offer them tomorrow’s technology, today. Cost doesn’t influence our decision making; optimal functionality and quality do.”

Other contenders for the secure smartphone space include the Blackphone, which was introduced to the market in 2014 for $629, its successor Blackphone 2, which was announced last September, that will retail for $799.

Also Read:

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.