Wire Swiss GmbH is now owned by a USA holding company?

Does anyone have any more information about this? It looks like Martin Brogger (current Wire CEO) created a holdings company in California, USA.


He joined Wire in 2017:

Current Wire Swiss registration:
https://www.zefix.ch/de/search/entity/list/firm/1116851

Normally a holdings company is to shield owners from risk. But Brogger is also the Wire CEO, so this holding company won’t reduce his risk from Wire bankruptcy, etc. So what’s going on?

3 Likes

Now what :confused:

Still, IMHO, there is no better option for multi-device messenger/voip service (linux, android, e2ee by default, outside 5 eyes, open-source…)

2 Likes

well, tor owned by usa company but we still using it right ? wire still open source with encryption module so why i be worried ?

1 Like

Tor was always based in the US from the beginning, even had its beginnings at the NSA. But that’s another discussion.
Wire has been based in Europe. Why now tie themselves to the US? Usually a holding company is to provide a barrier between the assets of a company and the owners. But the CEO of wire own the holding company, so that is not the reason they created a holding company. So why?

3 Likes

Currently, there is lots of speculation ongoing. Some people misuse this event to restart the never-ending battle of “my messenger is the best” and promoting their own recommendations.

At the moment, it is really hard to identify any risks for Wire users. So don’t panic. :slightly_smiling_face:

Edit:
According to the Corporation Wiki link above, “Wire Group Holdings Inc.” (based in Sherman Oaks, CA) was already founded in January 2019, and CEO is a “Martin Brogger”. The name of the current CEO of Wire Swiss GmbH is “Morten Brøgger”, “based in San Francisco”.

The Swiss registration shows that Morten Brøgger (based in Cotati, CA) became CEO of Wire Swiss GmbH in September 2019. The distance between Cotati and Sherman Oaks is 700km.

So it is hard to say if Martin Brogger is the same guy as Morten Brøgger (if you also consider 700km distance between both cities).

We simply don’t know.

7 Likes

This is by far the best reply to this. There’s no evidence yet they are the same people or the same Wire. Weird coincidence, but easily a coincidence nonetheless.

2 Likes

well, for me it just same i mean it still have same things (open source, respect privacy & other) so why i get worried ? i just talk about this, no matter where company is it just same basics so that means they not changing their mind & will spy on us (that what i see but if you have other point of view or you see thing i not see, feel free to tell me)

1 Like

Here’s a much more complete timeline. I’m trying to get through this with my high school German.
https://www.moneyhouse.ch/en/company/wire-swiss-gmbh-11252301971/messages?toggleMessage=HR02-1004682064

2012: Company Zeta Project Swiss GmbH created with “Zeta Project, Inc., in Dover (US)” registered as a “Person” (must be a legal term?)

April 4 2014:
Zeta Project, Inc., in Dover (US) removed
Zeta Holdings Luxembourg S.A., in Luxembourg (LU) added

April 12 2014
Company named change to Wire Swiss GmbH

July 2019
Zeta Holdings Luxembourg S.A., in Luxembourg (LU) removed
Wire Group Holdings Inc. (7230532), in Dover (US) added

September 2019
Broegger, Morten, dänischer Staatsangehöriger, in Cotati (US) added

Note that Cotati (US) is where his official residence is, that has really no relation to where any company is registered.

Between all these timelines are various people added and removed as well, which I didn’t record here. But is all this movement just based on who currently owns a company, and perhaps how they are paid and taxed based on residence? Maybe someone who knows corporate legal structures can chime in.

1 Like

Not sure how this is in Switzerland specifically, but yes in many European countries a company is a “legal person” (in contrast to a “natural person”).

But what you can see in this timeline as well, is that regardless of if he is the same person (although the names appear to be the same with one being the anglicized version) ->

the company has been in US hands from the very beginning.

I agree with @infosechandbook point though.

and with his conclusion.

I keep on using it as well because

2 Likes

I have reached out to Wire for more information.

4 Likes

This underscores why we need to ask privacy organizations basic questions about ownership and data processing. We can speculate, but it’s better to have the company step up and provide the facts.

Has someone reached out to Wire about this?

BTW - I’m on record as being a Wire fan. I’m really hoping the change in ownership isn’t an issue.

4 Likes

I have reached out with no reply. Though nothing I see here indicates a change in ownership, just that a holding company was formed by what could be the CEO of Wire.

My speculation would be it’s a tax thing, or for plans to expand into the US more, but again that’s all speculation because they have not replied yet.

Their website doesn’t indicate any change in ownership or company legal name, etc.

2 Likes

This article, Wire and FedResults Partner to Offer End-to-End Encrypted Collaboration Platform to Government Agencies may offer some insights. Here are some excerpts:

SAN FRANCISCO and HERNDON, Va., July 10, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Wire, the most secure collaboration platform, and FedResults Inc., a government value-added distributor, today announced a partnership to make Wire’s secure communication and collaboration solution available to Federal agencies. FedResults and Wire now offer government organizations a safe and compliant collaboration solution to mitigate cybersecurity vulnerabilities that can potentially have significant repercussions on national security.

“Our partnership with FedResults is a natural evolution of the successes we’ve experienced with large enterprises,” said Morten Brøgger, CEO at Wire. “We’ve already developed significant traction in the public sector and are looking forward to strengthening our partnerships with other Federal organizations looking to Wire as their trusted collaboration solution.”

Our primary mission has always been to provide Federal agencies with best-in-class solutions,” said Joe Tabatabaian, Sales Lead for the Wire team at FedResults. “When we saw a growing demand for secure and privacy-focused productivity solutions, we realized the importance of adding Wire to our secure collaboration portfolio. Our first joint deployment is already underway, and we look forward to helping other government agencies fortify their collaborative environments.”

Another company looking to add a privacy service to its portfolio, it seems. Not sure if this is an official partnership – as in a legal entity partnership – or if that is a reference to merely working together.

I now see that you reached out to Wire only a day ago @danarel . Hopefully, they’ll answer soon. One day is usually not enough.

3 Likes

Notice that the July 19 date in the holding company record change coincides with the new announced “partnership” with FedResults Inc. Could just be coincidence.

I did figure out that Morpheus Capital Ventures now has Wire Group Holdings in its portfolio. (It’s an early stage venture capital firm) The California business filing shows Martin Brogger (likely a misspelling of Morten and issue with the keyboard possibilities for the different “o.” ) The filing also shows Ray Musci and Gil Klier as company officers. Ray and Gil are “specialists” with Morpheus. (They also work with another firm called Europlay Capital Advisors.)

The Morpheus Ventures address is the same as in the filing: 15260 Ventura Blvd 20th Floor, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403.

So it looks like Wire Group Holdings (likely the holding company for Wire) got a major investment from a VC firm. It will be interesting to hear how Wire responds to @danarel

2 Likes

Wire still hasn’t responded but I enlisted Aral Balkan, a regular proponent of Wire to reach out and he got in touch with Peter Sunde Kolmisoppe to reach out as well. So perhaps they will notice now.

I also did that from my verified twitter, instead of the TP twitter.

4 Likes

Companies should be forthcoming. I wouldn’t cross a company off my “OK” list just because it received an investment or was purchased.

What would disqualify a company is lying about a purchase or investment, avoiding answering questions fully, or dodging questions. That’s what raises red flags for me. If a company isn’t able to justify its actions and be fully transparent, it brings everything else the company says and does into question.

4 Likes

At this point they have clearly seen all of our requests and are just not answering them.

1 Like

They may need a few days. People travel etc. Or are you saying that you know they won’t answer @danarel?

NOTE: I’m seeing at Twitter where a Wire associate (Julian Mair) reached out about an hour ago. Fingers crossed.

1 Like

I don’t know that they won’t answer, but they have failed to do so and enough people I believe have asked them that would warrant some response to even say they will respond. They have been active replying to others, so it’s not as though no one is available.

1 Like

Maybe when they see Startpage de-listed for failing to respond fully and transparently about ownership they will change their minds. Or maybe they don’t care about individuals anymore? Seems like they’re going after medium and large contracts in a play to be the next Slack-type business tool.

This is why we need to ask ALL privacy services questions early on, rather than promoting them while they hunt for a VC payday. What kind of pledge would we want to ensure services we back don’t sell us out?

4 Likes