Cloud

How this 2-man startup plans to take on Sharepoint and Asana

Siasto, the tiny startup that competes with Huddle, Podio, Asana, and Microsoft Sharepoint, is making a name for itself as the disruptive newcomer on the scene.

On Siasto, sign up for free, and you can immediately get to work adding tasks, uploading your documents, and inviting your colleagues or friends to join your “team.” An administrator can invite people to work on a project team, or can delete a project altogether.

What’s unique and impossible to ignore about the technology is the tight integration with Google Docs. Users can open and edit a Google Doc from their mobile device or desktop browser within Siasto, meaning they’ll have access to a real-time collaborative text editor. The Google integration is ubiquitous in the design — for instance, your Google + image is auto-uploaded to your profile.

Above: Siasto cofounder, Nic Pantucci

The idea stemmed from the success of Taskforce, the founders’ last product. Taskforce, a Gmail integrated task manager, received thousands of sign-ups and requests for integrations into other popular collaboration software services.

“We didn’t like any of them and so decided to build our own,” said founder Nic Pantucci (pictured left). Co-founder Courtland Allen was one of the first developers to ever build on the Facebook platform.

Unlike its competition, Siasto has already secured valuable partnerships with all the major players: Google Apps, Gmail, Google Drive, GCal, Box, and Dropbox.

In September, the company announced an integration with Box. At the time, Box’s Aaron Levie praised Siasto for its slick user interface and the ability to drill down into a project in a single click.

The San Francisco-based startup with only two employees is certainly punching above its weight. It has brought in several large enterprises as customers, including Thompson Reuters, the British National Health Service (NHS), and Accenture. According to its cofounders, the collaboration space is heating up, and in less than six months, there are thousands of teams already using its software.

Siasto is making a push into the enterprise, but it has not forgotten about its small-business roots. To appeal to students and small businesses, the company has also announced a new “freemium” pricing structure. Up to three people can use the tool for free for 10 projects and get one gigabyte of free storage space. Starting today, Siasto is charging on a per-user basis (rather than a per-project basis), which it views as a fairer option for smaller teams.

The company says its greatest challenge will be to overcome the stiff competition in the space but is convinced that its tool is easier to use than the alternatives. “Many of Siasto’s users were using competitor products previously but switched their allegiances once they started using Siasto,” said Pantucci.

Siasto claims that it is already profitable after launching in April, 2012. The company has raised a small seed round from Y Combinator and a series of angel investors.