Less than a year after being acquired by Intel, PasswordBox is closing its password manager service and pushing users to migrate to — yes, you guessed it — Intel’s alternative, True Key, which launched earlier this year.
Confirming the move in a blog post, Password Box said it would be focusing all its attention on the jointly developed True Key. In an email to TechCrunch a spokeswoman for Password Box confirmed the PasswordBox service “will remain as is from now until Fall of 2016.”
True Key is a freemium service, but in order to get the free version of the service users need to only store 15 passwords. ‘Unlimited’ passwords (which is actually capped at 2,000) costs $20 per year.
PasswordBox also offers a freemium model, but is free for up to 25 passwords and then users can either pay $1 per month or invite friends to use it to get unlimited passwords. So users switching to True Key are likely to have to pay more for their password management needs.
Current Password Box users are being offered a “special subscription offer” if they migrate to True Key, albeit not on the same terms…
As a PasswordBox user, we’ve reserved a True Key account for you. If you decide to claim it, you can create a profile using the email and master password associated with your PasswordBox account to migrate your information. Your PasswordBox subscription is different from the True Key subscription, and the PasswordBox terms will not be transferred over. Every PasswordBox user will get a special subscription offer if they choose to migrate from PasswordBox to the True Key app. New terms apply.
Several Password Box users have taken to Twitter to vent frustration at the planned closure…
At the time of the Intel acquisition, Password Box had had some 14 million downloads of its software, and had raised $6 million from investors, including Canada’s Omers Ventures, Lee Linden from Facebook and more.
Safe to say the playbook here is textbook startup stuff. Offer freemium service, gain users, raise investment, gain more users, get acquired, close original service, focus on more expensive alternative… profit.