Deals

Nivio pulls in $21M to make cloud computing cheaper and more student-friendly

Cloud computing and desktop virtualization are rapidly growing trends in the tech world, and one company has spent a considerable amount of time developing this technology. Nivio, which started as an idea in 2004, announced today it has received $21 million in its first round of venture capital funding.

Nivio lets you store up to 10GB of your documents, music, and movies in the cloud for free with nDrive. Your files sync across all of your devices — tablets, desktops, and laptops. And when you make changes to a document, Nivio saves bandwidth by only sending the changes you made, not the entire file.

But file storage isn’t all Nivio has up its sleeves. Its break-out product is nDesktop, the most current version of Windows that lives in the cloud and can be accessed on Macs, PCs, or tablets.

“We are delivering the next generation experience to the customer, so they can access their files and operation system without thinking about where they last worked on a file or worrying about maintenance of their machine,” Nivio chief executive Sachin Duggal told VentureBeat, “We tell our customers not to worry about their old hardware, we will find the best way to deliver Windows to you.”

Duggal said Nivio has been working on cloud computing technology for the past seven and half years. Its three offerings — nDrive, nDesktop, and nApps — are available in several different packages aimed at students, educators, and small businesses.

The company’s nApps service lets you rent a program for 30 days rather than purchasing a full app or piece of software. The app store already has the full Microsoft Office suite and free apps such as Twitter and Evernote. The company is also in talks with Adobe to offer its products. In keeping with the cloud trend, you can access the app wherever you can access nDesktop. The service is especially helpful for students who may only need a program for one or two projects and can’t afford to buy the software outright.

Nivio is not the groundbreaker in the cloud desktop computing space; Citrix offers desktop virtualization and app downloads, but it focuses on enterprise customers. OnLive Desktop, another cloud desktop computing service, lets you run a pared down version of Windows on the iPad, although it will support more devices soon. Nivio, however, is much more focused on students and small businesses and claims to have put more development into its technology.

Nivio plans to use the substantial investment, led by Videocon and AEC Partners, to grow its product, expand its engineering team, and roll out its services in Europe, the Middle East, India, and Australia.

The company is based in Palo Alto, Calif., and Geneva, Switzerland, with offices in London and Delhi. So far Nivio has more than 120 employees and prior to the current funding, the company raised $9 million from Deutsche Bank and private investors.

[Photo credit for title image of tablet computer (not shown above): Shutterstock]


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