December 1, 2014 / 11:35 AM / 4 years ago

Intel acquires Canadian IT security firm PasswordBox

TORONTO (Reuters) - Intel Corp (INTC.O) said on Monday it has acquired PasswordBox, a Montreal-based identity management service that gives users a convenient way to log into websites and applications from any device without having to type or remember passwords.

A video wall displays Intel's logos at the unveiling of its second generation Intel Core processor family during a news conference at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas January 5, 2011. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

The purchase price for the privately held Canadian start-up was not disclosed.

The Santa Clara, California-based chipmaker said PasswordBox will become part of the Safe Identity organization within Intel Security Group that is focused on simplifying and strengthening security by delivering ideas that reduce the pain of having to memorize dozens of passwords.

Earlier this year, Intel rebranded security software maker McAfee Inc, which it acquired for about $7.7 billion in 2011, as Intel Security Group.

PasswordBox, founded in 2012, has already been downloaded 14 million times and this year it won best mobile app at CES, a huge annual consumer electronics trade show in Las Vegas.

The tech security company’s co-founder and Chief Executive Daniel Robichaud said his goal is to get to a billion users.

“We’ve grown really fast in the last 18 months faster than Dropbox and Evernote when they started, and teaming with Intel is our way of getting faster to a billion users,” said Robichaud in a phone interview, referring to other currently popular app-based service providers.

PasswordBox last year secured $6 million in a Series A venture funding round led by OMERS Ventures, the venture capital arm of Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, one of Canada’s largest pension funds with over C$65 billion ($57.40 billion) in net assets.

“I think the speed of the transaction in this case speaks to the size of the market opportunity,” said Damien Steel, who is a director at OMERS Ventures and on the PasswordBox board.

Steel noted that very few start-ups typically get bought out by a big industry player this early in their lifecycle.

Intel’s acquisition of PasswordBox is effective immediately and all 48 employees of the start-up are now a part of the Intel Security Group.

PasswordBox is the latest venture of Canadian entrepreneur and former radio host Robichaud. Back in 2010 he sold his earlier venture, a radio streaming service called StreamTheWorld to Triton Digital Media.

Reporting by Euan Rocha; Editing by Chris Reese

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