Originally posted on the EconomicTimes.com – http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/46169017.cms
By Krithika Krishnamurthy, ET Bureau | 9 Feb, 2015
When the BJP was preparing for its election campaign in Maharashtra last year, the party’s digital war room turned to a two-year-old startup, Mobiliya, to secure its data and communication. The BJP, wary of leaks, used the startup to remotely lock phones, wipe entire data stacks if a phone was lost, encrypt emails and block cameras and file transfers via Bluetooth.
“During the pre-election campaign, securing sensitive data on our mobile devices was becoming increasingly imperative. Mobiliya Shoonya helped us seamlessly manage and monitor the devices of our key party co-workers,“ said Shweta Shalini, digital war room head, BJP Maharashtra. Shoonya is the startup’s enterprise offering that allows clients to manage and control personal mobile phones in official establishments.
Mobiliya, which has its datacentres in India, is now in talks with the Indian Army to develop a rugged handset equipped with its secure software. While most cyber security companies operate at the application or app-level, Mobiliya works at the chipset and the framework level.
“There is no such company in India that does this. This is something that every country is concerned about today. We have seen a huge interest from the defence forces as well,“ CEO Krish Kupathil said. Mobiliya’s handset for the Army, estimated to cost about $500 a piece, would be water-proof, unbreakable and able to withstand extreme temperatures. Importantly, the code that would sit on a soldier’s phone would be permanently etched into the device’s memory, and cannot be uninstalled or tampered with.
“Our strength lies in creating secure devices which meet industry and government standards,“ said Kupathil. There was no confirmation from the Army till the time of going to the press.
Mobiliya’s closest competitors are Israel-based Cellrox, US-based Cyanogen Mod and Spanish firm Silent Circle. Set up in 2012 as a subsidiary of AgreeYa Mobility, Mobiliya’s products are now used by Hewlett-Packard, Samsung, LG, Microsoft, and Texas Instruments, among others.
AgreeYa was backed by Saama Capital, the same fund that backed K Ganesh’s online tutoring firm Tutorvista, online retailer Snapdeal and mobile wallet Paytm.
Kupathil contends that security solutions for the mobile era are incredibly complex. “In mobile, the scenario is very complicated, with multiple operating systems, multiple networks, `always-on’ status of mobile devices, etc.,“ said Kupathil.
For the BJP, Mobiliya also developed a platform called BJP MahaConnect to allow the political party to send text messages to more than 4 lakh members on all that was happening across Maharashtra. AgreeYa expects to touch $100 million in revenue in three years, mostly from Mobiliya’s operations.
“We are very bullish on the contracts from defence and enterprises in India,“ said Kupathil.