SugarSync, the four-year-old provider of virtual storage in the cloud, has introduced a service to let customers synchronize their data using all versions of smartphones.
Until now, the San Mateo, Calif., company provided service only to users of desktop PCs and laptops, making it more competitive against rivals Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and private DropBox, said CEO Laura Yecies.
“We are appealing to the professional user, the 'pro-sumer,' ” Yecies said, rather than consumers who store documents, photos and other matter online. SugarSync wants to target the fast-growing small- and medium-sized business sector, which needs to tap the cloud for virtual storage.
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SugarSync, whose links are already installed in laptops from top manufacturers headed by China's Lenovo Group (Pink: LNVGY), the No. 1 PC vendor; Samsung Electronics (Seoul: 005930), the biggest smartphone maker, and as well as service providers such as Japan's SoftBank Corp. (Tokyo: 9984), has a better chance to grow with smartphones, Yecies added.
Customers who now store any kind of data with SugarSync can call up a smartphone app that links them instantly to the company. They retrieve a menu that resembles a familiar instant messaging screen, where they can instantly sort through data available to them, private or shared with company colleagues.
Dropbox, of San Francisco, has offered file synchronization via smartphone for about about three months. It also has a tie with Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) to allow for file synchronization.
Files can be called up from SugarSync, adapted and saved, with instant synchronization across all platforms. As well, any shared data are also instantly updated.
The company tried to make the screen easy to use. Meanwhile data are secure, retrievable anywhere and downloadable.
SugarSync already has relationships with a number of offshore mobile carriers, including Italy's Libero, Korea Telecom and the Orange service of France Telecom (NYSE: FT), with others pending.
The company has raised about $40 million, mainly from venture capitalists including Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Selby Venture Partners and Sigma Partners. Yecies is a former executive with Israel's Check Point Software Technologies (Nasdaq: CHKP) as well as Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO) and AOL (NYSE: AOL).
The SugarSync CEO declined to provide revenue figures, to say if the company is profitable or whether it ultimately plans an initial public offering or to be acquired. The company now hosts “peta-bytes of data,” she said. Each petabyte is a quadrillion bytes of data.
The company hosts some of its data internally but relies upon Amazon Web Services, a unit of Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN), for support.
Through Jan. 31, the company will offer free storage for 5GB or less, with a $5 monthly charge for storage of up to 30 GB and $80 for up to a terabyte of data.