Wickr raises $30 million; investors include CME Group, Wargaming

NEW YORK, June 26 Thu Jun 26, 2014 12:04pm EDT

NEW YORK, June 26 (Reuters) - Wickr, a startup founded by privacy advocates, said it has raised $30 million from investors including CME Group Inc to help develop self-destructing messaging technology for use by financial services firms and gaming companies.

Wickr, which offers to consumers mobile apps that send self-destructing text, photo and video messages, said on Thursday that other investors in the round include online gaming firm Wargaming and Breyer Capital.

CME Group said Wickr was the first investment in a new fund known as Liquidity Ventures I.

Breyer Capital Chief Executive Jim Breyer will join the board of directors of the San Francisco-based company, whose rivals include more established brands such as Snapchat and WhatsApp, which Facebook Inc agreed to buy in February for about $19 billion.

Wickr Chief Executive Nico Sell said that her firm will use the new capital to develop self-destruction messaging technology that the financial services firms and gaming industry can use to communicate securely on all platforms, including mobile devices and personal computers.

She said that Wickr has hired Andrew Caspersen, former chief security officer and chief privacy officer of Charles Schwab Corp, to run its new financial services unit.

Previous investors Alsop Louie Partners, Juniper Networks Inc, the Knight Foundation and Riverwood Capital also participated in the series B round.

Early investors include former White House security adviser Richard Clarke, Def Con hacking conference founder Jeff Moss and Thor Halvorssen, president of the Human Rights Foundation. (Reporting by Jim Finkle; editing by Matthew Lewis)