Secure messaging company Wickr is partnering with Iusacell, Mexico’s No. 3 wireless carrier, to deliver a Spanish-language version of its service.
The Iusacell Messenger, which Wickr will power, will come preloaded on all Android phones sold by the carrier. It will also be offered as a download for iOS and Android and include group messaging as well as real-time audio and video chatting.
Wickr CEO Nico Sell told Re/code this is its first big partnership deal, but she said she wants to partner a lot more.
“We want to do hundreds of these over the next 12 months,” Sell said in a telephone interview from the Defcon event in Las Vegas she helps organize. As for why she is starting with a little-known Mexican carrier, Sell said that “they got it immediately and they were willing to do something that was innovative.”
There has also been significant interest in Wickr in Mexico and Latin America, Sell said. The Iusacell app, which will debut this fall, will be similar to Wickr’s current software, with added Spanish-language support. Current features will all be free, but the company plans to sell in-app purchases for the heaviest video and voice callers.
Wickr is designed to be a “zero knowledge” messaging system in which the company neither knows the content being sent through its service nor has the keys to decrypt messages.
The company, which is looking at various ways to expand its own service as well as opportunities to license its secure messaging technologies to others, raised $9 million in March and $30 million in June.
Wickr is also publishing two new peer reviews by hackers that have tested the company’s service, both of which corroborate that Wickr is doing what it says it does.
Sell said that because Wickr’s code is not open source, the audits are a key means to build trust in its security approach. “We’ve now got four strong audits saying what we do is solid.”
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