Zoom Acquires Keybase

Zoom acquires Keybase, to improve the privacy and security of its platform. Keybase, a secure messaging and file sharing service with 25 employees, as the video communications company tries to improve the privacy and security of its platform.

Keybase cofounder Max Krohn will now lead Zoom’s security engineering team and report directly to Zoom CEO Eric Yuan. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.Keybase’s last valuation was $42.6 million after raising a $10.8 million funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz in 2015, according to Pitchbook.

The acquisition is part of Zoom’s 90-day plan to shore up its privacy and security announced in early April, after the company faced a cavalcacde of privacy and security issues amid its huge surge in usage due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Keybase engineers will join Zoom’s security engineering unit. They will proactively identify, address, and enhance the security and privacy capabilities of its platform, Zoom said in a press release. Additionally, leaders from Zoom and Keybase will work together to figure out what the future looks like for Keybase’s product.

Our goal is to provide the most privacy possible for every use case, while also balancing the needs of our users and our commitment to preventing harmful behavior on our platform. Keybase’s experienced team will be a critical part of this mission.

Zoom has made it a goal to build end-to-end encryption into its video conferecing product after coming under fire in April for falsely marketing their calls as already having that layer of security. On April 22, the company released a new version of the app with a higher level of encryption.

Yuan said the company plans to offer an end-to-end encrypted meeting mode to all paid participants. The company also plans to publish its encryption designs on May 22, and ask for feedback from other experts.

“We will then host discussion sections with civil society, cryptographic experts, and customers to share more details and solicit feedback. Once we have assessed this feedback for integration into a final design, we will announce our engineering milestones and goals for deploying to Zoom users,” Yuan wrote.

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