Cloud storage startup ZumoDrive has unveiled several new products this year, including mobile applications that let users share content from their phones and an HP-branded version of its service for HP netbooks. One of its next big goals, said founder and chief executive David Zhao, is to expand its international presence — there are signs that users in countries like Japan are even more willing to embrace cloud services like ZumoDrive than those in the United States.
More than half of ZumoDrive’s usage already comes from outside the United States, Zhao said, with 20 percent from Japan alone. That should only increase with the launch of localized versions of the service in eight languages: English, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese and Chinese. The company also opened a Singapore office this year.
In an email to VentureBeat, Zhao said:
Most startups focus on one geographic market until they have traction there, and we intended to do just that — the U.S. However, we learned quickly that our value around mobile media makes us very attractive overseas, where people rely on their phones for just about everything. …
The international market really resonated with our media focus. Take Japan — consumers there have sophisticated smart phones and consume massive amounts of media content, especially video, on the go. We are seeing that Japanese users in particular, are streaming music and videos from ZumoDrive more than the other countries. It’s a more common use of ZumoDrive for them than even the US.
Earlier this year, I interviewed Zhao on-camera, and I’ve embedded the video below. Asked how ZumoDrive differs from all the other online storage and syncing services out there, such as SugarSync, Zhao pointed to its focus on media storage, and also to the way it synchronizes your data. ZumoDrive doesn’t just store a synchronized version of your files on every device, but streams the content to each device as needed. So you can manage a large library of videos and music without taking up all the space on your iPhone, for example.
As for where ZumoDrive goes from here, Zhao said:
The other side we want to innovate on is affordability. Currently, the cloud is not exactly cheap yet. A lot of our users can afford $10 to $20 a month to keep all their music and photos in the cloud but if you go outside the early adopter circle you find more and more price sensitivity. We think have a few cool ideas to reduce cost and make it more affordable.
ZumoDrive pricing currently ranges from free to $80 a month, depending on how much space users need. The company’s investors include Ram Shriram, Tandem Entrepreneurs, VeriFone CEO Douglas Bergero, and incubator Y Combinator.