Amazon’s AWS Is Buying Encrypted Messaging Service Wickr

Amazon’s AWS Is Buying Encrypted Messaging Service Wickr
Photo: LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP via Getty Images, Getty Images

In what looks to be a bigger push into the secured messaging space, Amazon’s AWS has just announced that it is acquiring Wickr.

Founded in 2011, Wickr’s core service is based around providing enterprise end-to-end encryption for messaging, teleconferencing, and file transfer, with Wicker also claiming the distinction of Wickr RAM being “the only collaboration service with full functionality to meet all security criteria outlined” by the NSA.

Even though AWS provides hosting capability for all manner of cloud services, AWS is a relatively small player in the messaging space with AWS’s only other similar offering being Chime, which is another meeting and video conferencing tool available as part of AWS’s growing portfolio of business services, though Chime does not support E2E encryption.

While the terms of the deal were not disclosed, TechCrunch says via Pitchbook that Wickr had raised $US60 ($77) million in funding, and even with an outsized valuation, AWS’s acquisition of Wickr represents a drop in the bucket compared to AWS’s revenue of around $US45 ($58) billion in 2020.

In AWS’s announcement post, AWS VP and chief information security officer Stephen Schmidt said AWS will begin offering Wickr’s services to AWS customers “immediately,” though Schmidt did not provide any guidance on how the acquisition of Wickr will impact Chime or other AWS services going forward.

That said, with Wickr’s claims about having encrypted communication that meets government guidelines, I wouldn’t be surprised if AWS plans to use Wickr to help win contracts to handle military communication in the future. Currently, Wickr services are broken up into several categories including solutions for the military, government services, state and local government, and enterprise.

In addition to providing secure collaboration tools allowing companies to share encrypted messages or files within their organisation, Wickr also supports self-destructing messages that automatically delete themselves after a specified length of time.