Online storage service Livedrive has entered the U.S. market for backing up data and sharing files with others.
The service is offered by Lifeboat Distribution, a software distribution company with a network of resellers. Livedrive, based in the United Kingdom, also plans to open an office in the U.S.
Livedrive provides unlimited online storage, cross network synchronization, one-click backup, and the ability to easily share and access files from any device. Users can store their data both online and off, so they can have a complete copy of their machine backed up in case of failure of either online servers or the user’s own machine.
The company has 300,000 paying subscribers. Rivals include Mozy, Humyo, Microsoft and Dropbox. But Andrew Michael, chief executive of Livesdrive, says that his service lets users simultaneously edit shared documents, play videos, stream music, and share files all within a web browser. You can access Livedrive files from any web-connected device, including an iPhone or BlackBerry. Livedrive is integrated with Facebook, Flickr and SmugMug.
The company was founded in 2006 by Michael, whose previous company Fasthosts, a small business Internet hosting company, sold to a German Internet service provider in 2006 for over $120 million. Livedrive has 15 employees. Service launched in Europe in February. Investors include Michael, Nick Cowell (brother of American Idol’s Simon Cowell) and other private investors. The company says it is cash flow positive now.
Over time, Livedrive says its technology could become like an online operating system for social networks and sharing. The company charges $55.95 a year for 100 gigabytes of storage and $149.95 a year for unlimited storage.