WhatsApp Co-founder Donates $50M to Fund Development of Signal Messenger
Among all the messaging services available in the market, Signal is easily the most secure of the lot. All texts are encrypted end-to-end, texts can be set to self-destruct after a period, and no credentials are required for signup. The application shot to fame when it was revealed to be used by Edward Snowden. However, the founders never sought investment and relied on community contributions to keep the app running. A post on Signal’s official blog elaborates further:
We’ve always wanted to do much more, and our limitations have often been challenging. Over the lifetime of the project, there have only been an average of 2.3 full-time software developers, and the entire Signal team has never been more than 7 people. With three client platforms to develop, a service to build and run, a growing list of integrations to assist with, and millions of users to support, that has often left us wanting.
Even so, Signal has never taken VC funding or sought investment, because we felt that putting profit first would be incompatible with building a sustainable project that put users first. As a consequence, Signal has sometimes suffered from our lack of resources or capacity in the short term, but we’ve always felt those values would lead to the best possible experience in the long term.
WhatsApp co-founder, Brian Acton is providing $50M in funding for future development of the secure messaging app. The foundation now aims to employ more people and expand their capabilities. It also secures the company and can help them focus on their long-term goals and values. Perhaps most significantly, the addition of Brian brings an incredibly talented engineer and visionary with decades of experience to Signal. He was also anticipating working with Signal CEO Moxie Marlinspike on developing ‘multiple offerings that align with our core vision.’
Moxie and his team have built something very special in Signal Messenger and I am thrilled to join their effort to provide the most trusted communications experience on the planet. I first met Moxie in 2013 when I was at WhatsApp and we were working on a joint effort to add end-to-end encryption to the app. I was blown away by his technical ability and admired his passion and absolute commitment to data protection and personal privacy. Moxie will continue to serve as CEO of the newly created Signal Messenger nonprofit organization, and I will serve as Executive Chairman of the Signal Foundation where I will take an active, daily role in operations and product development. After over 20 years of working for some of the largest technology companies in the world, I couldn’t be more excited for this opportunity to build an organization at the intersection of technology and the nonprofit world.
The messaging service has had its share of controversies due to its widespread use among darknet users. With the newly acquired funding, we can expect a more feature-rich app out of the company, which might have what it takes to compete with the likes Telegram.