Personal.com stands among a growing class of Dropbox competitors. But it’s taking a different course, following that age-old wisdom, “If you can’t beat em, join em.”
Today, the consumer cloud startup announced an integration with both Dropbox and Evernote, and it released a set of new features so users can exchange and store their most private information, like health or insurance records.
The Washington, D.C.-based company has been around since 2009, and it has carved a niche in the market for storing highly sensitive data — both on web and on mobile. It doesn’t hurt that the service is available for free (the company is still in beta). No doubt, it will soon introduce a Dropbox-style freemium model.
Personal.com’s free Android app has been available since November, and the iPhone version was released last week.
The pitch is simple. We need to store a growing amount of personal and professional information: birthdays, bank account numbers, Social Security information, tax records, allergy information, alarm codes, and so on. Wouldn’t it make life easier if you could save all your data — including the private information — in your personal “vault”?
The company has specialized in storage, but its users wanted to share and manage their data, too. As of today, anything that you store on Personal can be shared with a friend, family-member or employee, as long as they’re a registered user.
In an interview with VentureBeat, Green explained how the company stores your most private information securely in the cloud. “Personal doesn’t store the password to your vault, only you know it, and only you have the ability to decrypt your files and photos,” he said.
No doubt, the Dropbox integration is a means for the company to pickup millions of new users — “it is a great company with a hugely loyal user base,” said Green. Now, you can store your notes, files, and photos in Personal or link to an existing Dropbox account. Files uploaded to Personal’s secure data vault are encrypted for added protection. The benefits of the partnership go both ways — Dropbox has been called out for its frequent privacy glitches.
Other new features include:
- Secure encryption: Your uploaded files will be automatically encrypted through Personal whenever they’re stored and shared.
- Secure sharing: Owners can safely share important notes, files and documents with other registered users, whether it’s a family-member or employee.
- Free data, notes and file storage: Users can securely upload unlimited data and notes, and up to 50MB of files and photos.
Personal picked up $7.6 million in July, 2011 from Grotech Ventures, Revolution, among others.
Mobile security image via Shutterstock