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Cloud storage startup Bitcasa has nabbed $7 million in its first round of funding to realize its vision of giving consumers “infinite storage” for all of their devices for $10 a month.
Bitcasa is an exciting cloud startup because unlike players like Dropbox, Box, SugarSync, or Google Drive, its storage solution goes beyond syncing files across machines. The company’s app does not take up any room on your hard drive, which is extremely helpful if you have a MacBook Air, Ultrabook, or a small SSD drive for storage. All of your data and files are stored on Bitcasa’s servers and are as easy to access as an external hard drive.
“Dropbox, Box, and Google Drive are more sync companies than storage companies,” Bitcasa co-founder and CEO Tony Gauda told VentureBeat. “Dropbox is the incumbent, but it is light years different from what we offer.”
Now to be fair, each of the services Gauda mentions can offer things Bitcasa can’t. Dropbox makes it incredibly easy to share files with other people, Box offers a strong business collaboration environment, and Google Drive has convenience by being integrated with other Google services many people use daily. But even with that, Bitcasa seems incredibly appealing for individuals who want a better backup solution than an external hard drive.
Bitcasa’s storage service works on computers running Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux, and it is compatible with HTML5 mobile browsers. To improve the mobile experience further, the company is working on native iOS and Android apps. After those two are up and running, it will work on a native Windows Phone app.
The company encrypts files on the client side, so the company can’t see what files you have stored, Gauda said.
During the company’s beta period, which will last a few months, any user can try the service for free. If you end up liking it and want to keep using it, you’ll have to pay for the $10 per month “infinite storage” option after the beta period ends. As someone who hates that services like Dropbox and Box take up precious local storage, I’m quite impressed by Bitcasa and the way it lets me back up and move around my files without affecting my personal hard drive.
The new $7 million round was led by Pelion Venture Partners and Horizons Ventures, with Andreessen Horowitz, First Round Capital, CrunchFund, and Samsung Ventures also participating. Including prior funding, the company has raised about $9 million to date. Gauda expects the company will see a much larger dose of funding in its next round.
Mountain View, Calif.-based Bitcasa launched at the TechCrunch Disrupt 2011 conference in San Francisco in Sept. 2011. During the past several months, Bitcasa’s users around the world “have saved more than 4 petabytes of data and uploaded more than 1 billion files to Bitcasa,” the company said.
You can watch the video below to get a better idea of Bitcasa’s offering: