Gemalto, provider of end-to-end security solutions, has acquired a Finnish startup Valimo Wireless. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Some of Valimo’s investors included Altine Group, Risto Siilasmaa and SpringBank TechVentures.

Valimo has developed a two-channel, two-factor authentication based on Public Key Infrastructure, combining an over the air platform with a software client in the SIM to generate a legally binding electronic signature. What this jargon from the press release means is that Valimo enables mobile phone users to securely authenticate themselves, digitally sign documents and confirm legally binding transactions simply by entering a self-chosen passphrase or a PIN code. Voilà!

Valimo Mobile ID solution facilitates secure online banking, mobile payments, governmental services, electronic and mobile commerce, and identity and access rights management for enterprise applications. This fits nicely into Gemalto’s service portfolio.

Gemalto’s services range from the development of software applications through the design and production of secure personal devices such as smart cards, SIMs, e-passports and tokens, to the deployment of managed services. They are a global giant with revenues of €1.68 billion in 2008 and over 10,000 employees based in 40 countries.

Valimo has been a Gemalto partner for 5 years. In Turkey for example, a major mobile operator, with over 30 million subscribers, selected Valimo and Gemalto to deploy the largest mobile digital signature commercial roll-out to date. By linking up with 13 banks, this operator enables its customers to strongly authenticate themselves for online banking and to digitally sign bank transactions from their mobile phone. This partnership helped the partners to know each other and identify the clear fit they had between the services. Thus, a very natural path to acquisition.