back to article Why have VCs hosed down an obscure startup with cash?

Lookout provides mobile phone protection and management services in a friendly Mozy pre-EMC kind of way, kind of like a helpful uncle, but its revenue potential seems to be making VCs salivate. Look at this funding history: $5.5m in A-round in December 2009 $11m in B-round in May 2010 $19.5m in C-round in December 2010 $40m …

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Rob
Go

Sounds like the VC's...

... haven't really looked at the market. I think it's a bit optimistic as these sort of offerings are already present on the platform and they don't seem to be neck-deep in customers yet, prehaps it's a slow burn and ROI will come in a couple of years time. Although if I were a VC I would want a gauranteed ROI in a year seeing as it's in the Mobile sector which can be a fical beast.

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Silver badge
Coat

If you need a virus checker on a fecking phone then I don't think I'll bother getting one.

Talk about putting all your eggs in one basket, wtf?

Mine's the one without my entire life in the pocket.

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Bronze badge
Flame

Read Lookout's Privacy Statement

Lookout's value is in information, we want information, information...

Lookout includes a mandatory service called Find My Phone. Lookout will not allow you to install the app unless you enable Find My Phone, which allows Lookout to monitor your phone's location 24 hours a day, every day. If you have GPS turned off, don't worry - Lookout's draconian permissions allow it to turn your GPS on and off without your involvement. However, they have worded this on their website very cleverly to make it SEEM like they can only read your GPS if you have your GPS turned on - not so. Read their TOS very carefully.

Oh, I forgot, Lookout can read your phone's contacts, too! If you look at Lookout's permission's list, the application has every single Android permission - every single one. There is not one single Android permission that Lookout doesn't have, including adding and deleting contacts. Lookout has more control over your phone than you do.

I tried installing Lookout bit I did not want to enable Find My Phone. If you do not enable it, Lookout is not enabled. If you email tech support, yes, they will respond, but the link you get requires you to register. If you do not register (Name, email address, postal address, mobile number, etc) you cannot read their response.

If you do not register, you get another email one week later telling you how wonderful Find My Phone is and how to enable it.

One week later you get a support email asking you to fill out a survey. But first you must register, give us your information, information...

It's the "information broker" business model:

Stage 1: Get registered users any way and every way you can.

Stage 2: Collect as much personal information about those users

State 3: Change the product and the TOS to monetize those users information.

Lookout has not reached Stage 3 yet.

I am not a number - I am a FREE MAN!

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Megaphone

Use LBE Privacy Guard and Permissions Denied

You can use these programs to stop others from accessing things they really have no business accessing.

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Bronze badge
Megaphone

LBE Privacy Guard

Thanks for the heads-up, I will look into those apps.

I presently use DroidWall firewall. My Android is rooted and running CM7.

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LOL

Having worked for a VC backed company, who burned through around 50 million over several years, I can tellyou, it goes fast. Head count isn't cheap. Figure around 100k per head US for worker bees. More for execs. Plus equipment, licenseing, etc, It goes fast and if you don't have a good product or one that is selling quickly you need to ask for more. Also, venture capatolists tend to throw good money for bad...

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