Signal, the encrypted messaging app secure enough for Edward Snowden himself, just launched an umbrella organization called the Signal Foundation. WhatsApp cofounder Brian Acton, who left parent company Facebook last year, has invested $50 million in the nonprofit, and will act as executive chairman and financier.
The funding will go toward improving Signal, expanding its team—which has been no larger than seven people since the app’s inception—and if Acton has his way, possibly developing other apps. “I’d like to see Signal continue to add features to the core messaging product and over time explore other ways that we can help people protect their privacy and their data,” he told Wired.
This is a major next step for Signal, which has operated for years with no VC funding; Instead, the app has gotten by on support from the Freedom of the Press Foundation, as well as on $3 million from the government-backed Open Technology Fund.