Cracking into a locked iPhone may seem like something that is reserved for Blockbuster heist movies. But after catching up with Atlanta-based Grayshift, it’s clear the world of digital forensics definitely plays a part in our daily lives.
In fact, 90% of criminal investigations rely on smartphones for evidence. According to Grayshift’s VP of Marketing Jody Ma Kissling, “mobile phones contain tremendous amounts of digital evidence that may indicate where devices have been, what they’ve done, who they’ve communicated with, when and why. Advancements in modern encryption in use on mobile devices have created an unyielding demand and urgency in gaining lawful access to these devices during the course of criminal investigations.”
Grayshift, which works exclusively with law enforcement, public safety, and defense agencies to access and extract data from mobile devices, just announced a $47 million Series A funding round, led by Pennsylvania-based PeakEquity Partners.
In addition to the funding, PeakEquity’s Jim Sheward and Justin Reger will join the company’s board of directors.
Grayshift started several years back in Atlanta, where the majority of the company’s leadership team still remains. One of their most important tools, GrayKey, helps extract encrypted and otherwise inaccessible data from various mobile devices.
In a press release, Grayshift’s co-founder and CEO David Miles said the team is excited for the opportunity to continue to grow and scale their digital forensic work.
“This investment validates Grayshift‘s innovation and how we are transforming this industry. In addition to doubling revenues, customer adoption, and employee growth over the past year, I’m especially proud that we’ve built a successful digital forensics solution that provides lawful access during the course of criminal investigations,” said Miles.
The funding will be used to increase sales and marketing initiatives while growing Grayshift’s research and engineering teams. It will also help the team expand awareness about its GrayKey tool.
“Digital forensics is a growing, complex market with highly-nuanced and technical challenges,” said Justin Reger, Partner with PeakEquity Partners, in a statement about the funding round. “Grayshift addresses these challenges head-on and raises the standard by which these technologies are measured. Grayshift delivers one of the fastest, most reliable solutions, and strives to operate with the highest integrity. PeakEquity is excited to help fuel its impressive growth and mission to aid in creating safer communities.”
The technology, of course, is not without its critics. As Forbes pointed out in their coverage of the funding round, their work with ICE, FBI, and the Oval Office “shows how investors are happy to go big on what some see as a powerful but potentially controversial technology.”