BusinessCanadian company provides software to U.S. intelligence agencies

Published 9 May 2013

A Canadian company has spent the last few years locking up contracts to provide security software to U.S. federal agencies such as the NSA, CIA, and FBI. The company moved from the United States to Canada because the Canadian government gives tax credits for high-tech companies coming to Canada, and Canadian government agencies help the company break into new markets by sponsoring his company in international conferences. It was in one of these conferences that he once met “some NSA folks.”

A Canadian company has spent the last few years locking up contracts to provide security software to U.S. federal agencies such as the NSA, CIA, and FBI. This may be surprising to some, butFixmo’s CEO Rick Segal has no problem believing it.

“Despite the Bush years of let’s go play in another war, there’s a very tight, close alliance between Canada and the USA,” Segal told Venture Beat.

Segal, who is American, took his company to Canada because the Canadian government gives tax credits for high-tech companies coming to Canada, and Canadian government agencies help Segal’s company  break into new markets by sponsoring his company in international conferences. It was in one of these conferences that he once met “some NSA folks.”

Fixmo, which is based in Toronto, makes mobile security products such as an encrypted sandbox, and digital fingerprint technology that can detect tampering of your mobile operating system as well as compliance breaches, such as the installation of unauthorized applications.

Venture Beatreports that Fixmo’s products are largely sold to governments and were developed on software originally built by the NSA.  Segal says the relationship between Canada and the United States is a lot better than what people may think.

“The U.S. government and security agencies tend to view Canada as one of its own,” Segal says. “Eyebrows don’t get raised when a Canadian company does business with NSA … there’s no ‘it’s a foreign country’ kind of thing going on.”

The relationship between the NSA and Fixmo started in 2011 when Segal attended the CTIA wireless trade industry show in Las Vegas. It was there where Segal met the men who represent the NSA’s Technical Transfer program, which commercializes technologies and products developed within the agency.

The NSA was interested in Fixmo’s existing security products and a relationship developed.

Eventually, the two sides agreed to a technology transfer in which Fixmo started building products based on the NSA technology. According to Fixmo, their products “have been developed as part of a cooperative research and development agreement with the U.S. National Security Agency.”

Now the company is enjoying the fruits of its labor.

“Seventy percent of our customers are government agencies like the NSA, FBI, and Homeland Security,” Segal says, noting a contract with the U.S. Air Force completed a few weeks. “One of our clients has 700,000 seats.”

Venture Beatnotes that since the company has taken off, it has begun to hook for clients in the financial services and healthcare industries.

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