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In July, YouSendIt got a new name: Hightail. It reflects a change in focus for the company.
The file-sharing service, which used to cater primarily to creative professionals, now wants to be the premiere cloud storage solution for the enterprise — and it just raised a hefty $34 million funding round to make that happen.
It’s off to a solid start: The company earned over $55 million in revenue last year from its more than 40 million registered users. Most of those folks weren’t paying for Hightail’s service — it offers 2 GB of storage for free — but more than half a million were paying users, who get unlimited storage and access to a variety of control, tracking, and e-signing features.
“Storing stuff in the cloud is not that hard,” said Hightail CEO Brad Garlinghouse in an interview with VentureBeat. “We’re much more about the applications and features on top of that storage.”
Hightail acquired security company adeptCloud in September to better compete with services like Box, Dropbox, and Microsoft Skydrive. Hightail has done well in the creative, marketing, and legal markets, but hopes its adeptCloud acquisition will help it cater to more heavily regulated verticals like finance, government, and healthcare (it’s HIPAA-compliant, according to Garlinghouse).
The majority of Hightail users are situated outside the U.S. The company has a number of non-U.S. data centers, mostly in Europe, and it recently opened offices in Australia and the U.K.
“In the post-Edward Snowden world, our international customers want to understand not just how the data is encrypted, but where it’s stored and who has access to those keys,” said Garlinghouse.
Western Digital Capital, the venture capital arm of the hard drive maker, led the $34 million round in Hightail. It was joined by new investor Accolade Partners, with participation from existing backers Alloy Ventures, Sevin Rosen, Emergence Capital, Adams Street Partners, and Sigma Partners. In total, Hightail has received $83 million in funding.
Hightail plans to use the capital injection to accelerate its enterprise sales force, add support for other languages and currencies, and continue to develop the product, with a major emphasis on security. After all of that, “World domination is next,” joked Garlinghouse.
Founded in 2004, Hightail is based in Campbell, Calif. and currently has 240 employees.
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