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Soonr, one the older companies using cloud technology to make users’ data accessible from anywhere, has nailed down $4.5 million in a fourth round of venture funding to strengthen its sales and marketing operations, and to build new partnerships — the company’s lifeblood.
Based in Campbell, Calif., Soonr provides users with a platform to store their documents online, allowing them to collaborate, easily search through content, and access files via both their computers and their mobile phones. And its auto-backup feature means you don’t ever have to manually sync these files.
“What we’re looking at with this investment is to extend these services,” says Soonr chief executive Martin Frid-Nielsen. “In addition to that, we have been very focused on partners and working with mobile companies and others around the world, including Cisco and Intel. So we’re going to also use the funding to continue building partnerships.”
In addition to providing access to information on-the-go, Soonr emphasizes data security. The cloud industry is poised to explode to $295 million and the smartphone industry to $5 billion by 2013. With so much rapid growth, security measures are more important than ever, Frid-Nielsen says.
“There will be a need to make sure we have access to all information at all points in time, and that it’s secure and protected no matter what,” he says. “If you look at small businesses today, there is so much outsourcing, outside consulting, specialized talent — there’s a very dynamic workflow there that we’re focusing on enabling.”
One of the more notable facets of today’s news is that Soonr has brought on HighBAR Ventures as a new investor. While it’s not a very well-known name, it’s got several high-profile people behind it, including early Google and Sun Microsystems investors. The firm joins Cisco Systems, Intel Capital, Presidio Ventures and Clearstone Venture Partners.
“I think what they found exciting is that we’ve been able to crack the partner channel,” Frid-Nielsen says. “There are a lot of companies that come out with a service, get a million or so users, but then can’t monetize. We have a number of partnerships that shows we have the business model down.”
He says that Soonr boasts the three major driving forces that make cloud-based companies successful: the ability to cut down on IT personnel and streamline information technology infrastructure; access to a top-tier partner channel; and a buying audience of prospective users. Soonr reaches millions of users through its partnerships.
The company’s services work across carriers and mobile handsets, including the iPhone, Android and Blackberry smartphones. It previously raised $18.5 million. Frid-Nielsen says it will also have a series of announcements before the end of the year regarding new applications and fresh, expansive partnerships.
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