This morning Egnyte announced that it has taken on $29.5 million in new capital. The Series D round of funding was participated in by Seagate, CenturyLink, Northgate Capital, and prior investors Kleiner Perkins, Google Ventures and Polaris Partners.
You probably haven’t heard of Egnyte, but you know the space they compete in, butting heads with Box, Dropbox and others. However, instead of providing a purely cloud play, Egnyte is a hybrid product, fusing both local storage and cloud storage. The company’s bet is that for many large firms, the idea of having their most sensitive data on a public cloud is simply a no-go.
I spoke with the company about its financial performance, and was told that its current revenue range is between $25 million and $40 million. Egnyte declined to be more specific, but did say that it expects to become cash flow break even by the fourth quarter of 2014. Egnyte has current gross margins of 60%, but wants to boost that by a fourth, reaching 75% in the future. Egnyte expects to have between $95 million and $105 million in GAAP revenue in 2015.
According to its release, Egnyte has seen its “revenue [double] year-over-year for the past two years [and] expects to more than double revenue ending 2013.” Egnyte has now raised more than $65 million. Don’t let that number surprise you – Box recently took down $100 million in a single round.
So, where do those numbers line up with its competition? Egnyte is smaller than Box and Dropbox. Here’s TechCrunch on Box’s revenue curve:
The company was said to generate $10 million in the fourth quarter of 2011, with around $25 million in revenue for that full calendar year. Revenue for 2012 was tipped to be on track to reach $75 million. It was later reported that Box instead was on track for $85 million in revenue for that year.
And on Dropbox, from the same post:
According to the Wall Street Journal, Dropbox had 2011 revenue of $46 million, $116 million in 2012, and will produce something over $200 million this year.
There is a simply massive amount of funding, and spend in the enterprise file storage market. Google and Microsoft and Amazon are also in the space with various product mixes.
The fact that we’re mostly meeting Egnyte for the first time is something that the company wants to change, citing both international expansion and marketing as designated locations where it intends to spend its new monies.
Provided that businesses are as conservative as Egnyte expects, it could find itself well positioned to grow more quickly than its market, and absorb dollar share. That said, its competition is more intense than in nearly any other market sector. It’ll need every new dollar that it raised.
The next question for the firm will be when it expands vertically, and begins to build editing tools on top of its storage technology. That’s the next front in this war.
Top Image Credit: Flickr
Amazon today added support for video uploads in the new iOS version of its Cloud Drive Photos app, which also now natively supports iPad and iPad mini. The update comes over a year and a half after Amazon first introduced the capability to store videos in its Cloud Drive Photos service via the app’s Android counterpart. Its slow progress to introduce the feature on Apple devices goes to show how much Amazon values its iOS customer base. (Or rather, how it doesn’t).
The company quietly released the updated app this afternoon, which, like the Android version, now supports the ability to upload videos up to 2 GB in size or 20 minutes in length. That’s long enough for the majority of personal videos, and still slightly longer than YouTube’s default setting of 15 minutes (ahead of account verification).
Also like the Android app, those who have turned on Cloud Photos’ Auto-Save functionality in the iOS version will now see support for video uploads, too. That means that both new and existing videos and photos from the iPhone or iPad will be automatically uploaded to Amazon Cloud Drive when the device is connected to Wi-Fi (or Wi-Fi and cellular, if you choose).
It’s handy that Amazon will retroactively upload your media collection when you switch this feature on, as that’s not always the case. For example, when Flickr rolled out an auto-upload feature of its own earlier this fall, it would only begin auto-uploads from that point forward, making it troublesome for new or lapsed users wanting to move their entire photo collections over to Yahoo’s photo-sharing site.
Amazon has a few other tricks up its sleeve, too. For example, a “large upload mode” setting lets you disable the iOS device’s lockscreen in order to allow large uploads (like all your videos) to complete. And you can switch on an “Auto Save” option which allows progress to continue in the background.
In addition, the Settings screen shows an indicator of how much Cloud Drive storage you’ve used, with separate colors for files, photos and now videos.
Still, the app feels very basic compared with competition from Flickr or Google, for example, or other popular mobile photo-sharing apps. You can’t organize your photos or videos in any real way, tag them, search through them, or edit them using built-in tools. It’s merely an interface that connects the phone or iPad to Amazon’s online storage. Still, with 5 GB of free storage available, it’s worth it to back up your content to the cloud, if you haven’t already done so using another service, like Google, Facebook, or Apple’s iCloud.
Now with video support across both iOS and Android platforms, Amazon may need to rethink the name of this app, since Cloud Drive Photos is no longer quite right.
The updated version of the iOS app is here on iTunes.
Startup AddVenture Summit is a new conference to hit the European circuit. Unusually, it’s run in Kiev, Ukraine, which turns out to be a rather good idea because Russians can easily travel there without a Visa, and so can Western Europeans, as can many people from Central and Eastern Europe and CIS countries. That said, most of the startups were from the CEE/CIS region, which is generating a lot of heat at the moment – a topic I’ll be returning to in due course. And like all tech conferences these days it features a tech startup pitch competition – in this case themed around a boxing match. TechCrunch was there to check the companies out and here’s what we found.
Cutting to the chase: the winner of the event was ￼￼Play Canvas (UK, AngelList). This is a “cloud-hosted game development platform” with is a collaborative editing tool with a rich community site. It’s a pretty spectacular site for creating an sharing games across any platform. Worth checking out. It has been incubated at TechStars London.
The runner up was ￼￼Lead Scanner (Russia/Ukraine, ￼￼￼￼AngelList). This is a lead generation tool which helps small and medium business (SMB) owners find prospective clients in social media and boost sales. Using proprietary algorithms, LeadScanner finds social media users who have an intent to buy specific products or services. It has been incubated at the Skolkovo IT Cluster in Moscow.
Applications to the competition were run through Angel List since April, which indicates that there was some decent filtering going on. The rules were that the companies had to have raised less than $2 million and be a European company.
They got over 500 applications, and after 35 semi finalists were interviewed, 10 finalists were selected. They then went to Kiev a week ago for three days of pitch training with event founder Vitaly Golomb.
Here are the rest of the finalists and how they describe themselves.
￼￼Priceless.ly (Italy – Russian/Ukrainian Team, AngelList)
“Pricelessly is an exposure-producing and fundraising platform that enables influential figures (celebrities) to mobilize their fans to raise funding and awareness for social causes, as well as widely engage and incentivize their fan-base with minimum effort.”
￼￼Jumpido (Bulgaria, AngelList)
“Jumpido is an educational software product that combines primary school maths, game-based learning and natural user interface. It is focused on transforming the way children learn mathematics in school and the approach teachers take to engage their classes with this interesting, but challenging subject.”
￼￼Limk (Turkey, AngelList)
“Limk is a content distribution and discovery platform that helps websites grow traffic while reaching highly engaged audiences. Websites can bring qualified new users—those most likely to engage—to their own sites by exposing their content on contextually similar sites at Limk Shuffle.”
￼￼Advice Wallet (Ukraine, AngelList)
“Advice Wallet is a mobile loyalty program to attract, keep and understand customers. It empowers any local business to create a customized acquisition and loyalty program online in minutes.”
Incubator: Happy Farm
￼￼InHiro (Slovakia, AngelList)
“Professionals don’t browse through job portals – get to them via social networks. With InHiro, you’re able to create an innovative job ad (template creator), share it through social neworks (gamification based mechanics) and manage candidates (funnel talents through each step of your hiring process).”
￼￼Moku (Italy, AngelList)
“Moku provides a common space to store and find documents, take rich notes (highlightings, text annotations, drawings) and collaborate with their classmates (while respecting their privacy, too), just with a browser. A “moku” is a collection of documents, where every document is securely stored on the cloud and available on any devices. It can be annotated on transparent layers (as if they were pieces of tracing paper) that don’t modify the original document. Annotations can stay private or can be shared with other users with read or write permission.”
According to Bloomberg, the potential pool of candidates being considered for the role of next CEO of Microsoft has narrowed, at least for the moment. Ford CEO Alan Mulally and current Microsoft executive vice president Satya Nadella are said to be the two front-runners.
If true, it’s hardly a surprising shortlist. Mulally is a longtime ally of current Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer; had a hand in designing its reorganization; and has secured a spot in business case studies for the next few decades due to his role in doing the same, successfully, at the Ford Motor Company.
Nadella, meanwhile, is a strong internal candidate. He’s a respected technologist; and long-term Microsoft executive who has held a number of roles from developer relations through to building Microsoft’s cloud business.
The bond between Ballmer and Mulally runs deep. When Mulally was named to the 2009 Time 100 list, Ballmer wrote his entry:
“It is extremely rare for one leader to play a major role in two of America’s top industries,” noted Ballmer. “Alan Mulally is that rare case. [...]
“Changing industries can upset even the most seasoned executive. Not Alan. He understands the fundamentals of business success as well as any business leader I know.”
It’s almost humorous how well Ballmer’s accolade from four years ago suits Mulally and Microsoft today. Two top industries? Why not three. If Alan understands the core tenets of business so strongly, perhaps he could manage a software company as well as he’s managed more industrial enterprises.
Nadella, on the other hand, is a technologist’s technologist. I first met him, around a year ago, digging into how Microsoft’s Azure was born, and how the cloud was set to change both Microsoft and the larger software market. Nadella’s explanation sounds very prescient in hindsight, too:
[W]hat we’re doing across the company between devices and the cloud and services is the front and center priority for us, and we are well on our way with that, given what we have done with Windows 8 and what we are doing with Windows Phone and Windows Azure. I think that represents the core of the reinvention and the re-imagination of the Windows franchise
What Nadella outlined a year ago has come to bear out in a number of ways. Cloud-based businesses and services at Microsoft have had a strong last year, with several cresting the $1 billion revenue mark. Lync, Office 365, and Azure are each now generating 10-figure top line for Microsoft. As the company’s OEM revenue from Windows slows and slips, the fresh top line is more than welcome.
One catch in all this: Nadella may end up being considered too internal, or perhaps too important in his current role to move up to the CEO spot. Remove Nadella from his current rank atop Azure and the rest of his reports, and you have to find someone to replace him. That’s not simple.
In that regard, one reason that Mulally could make a compelling chief executive is that if you like the way that Microsoft has set up its current roster of executive vice presidents (the folks one step below the CEO), under his tenure, that makeup could be maintained – assuming people stay on board with the new exec, and he decides not to shake things up.
AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher made the point recently that Microsoft might hire Mulally to step in and manage the company, as it trains up an internal candidate to take over:
“[T]he idea [of Mulally is] that he will be more a “caretaker” type CEO, whose deep experience and inspirational charisma will get the company on the right path, while also training up a number of internal candidates to eventually take over from him.”
Under that rubric, Microsoft could end up first with Mulally, and second with Nadella. Perhaps.
However, as journalist Simon Bisson pointed out this morning on Twitter, “[t]he one point to remember is that Ballmer said they were looking for a CEO for the next decade.” That cuts at the idea that the board will pick someone to simply come over, holding things in place while an internal candidate is made ready.
Mulally had a hand in the rebuilding of Microsoft’s internal structure. The Wall Street Journal has the scene in detail:
Mr. Ballmer brought a messenger bag, pulling out onto a table an array of phones and tablets from Microsoft and competitors. He asked Mr. Mulally how he turned around Ford. For four hours, he says, Mr. Mulally detailed how teamwork and simplifying the Ford brand helped him reposition it.
Reading that, it almost feels that Mulally may have already offered Microsoft his best advice, such that it led to the shape of the reorganization that may be key to Microsoft bettering its internal harmony so that its teams edify one another, and not harm one another as in the past.
Nadella’s contribution to Microsoft is, by simplistic comparison, hardly complete. What he brings to the table is technical knowledge at a time in which the company is rebuilding itself. A sample from Microsoft’s recent FAM day, when Nadella and other executive vice president’s were interviewed:
“So one thing I would add is when we think about the platform as Terry and team are working on even bringing all our client platforms together and the tooling around it is, in fact, going to facilitate a lot of the sharing of the assets for the developers, which is very, very important for us.
“But there’s no application that gets built today in the enterprise or in the consumer space that doesn’t have a huge cloud element. In fact, even Office 365 is a programming surface area.
“So we’re really building out our tooling across all of our assets and enabling these developers to exploit our broadest platform, and I think that’s another source of innovation around our platforms that I think will translate into sort of unique app experiences for our platforms.”
The above is the simple gist of how Microsoft’s platforms (which are increasingly harmonized) will sit atop the cloud. Would Mulally be able to understand the above concepts deeply enough to ensure that resource allocation remains appropriate, and even aggressive? His history indicates that even if he may not have the tech experience, he might yet have that exact moxie.
Top Image Credit: Robert Scoble
View original post here: As Nadella And Mulally Lead In Microsoft’s CEO Hunt, The Internal/External Debate Continues
Update 2: Microsoft reached out with a statement. The issue with Azure was seperate from the other outages. Early reports to the contrary were false. I apologize for getting that wrong.
Here’s Microsoft statement:
“Microsoft is aware of issues involving cloud and online services and we are investigating the cause. We can confirm that these issues were not caused by Windows Azure. We will keep our customers updated as information becomes available. The service interruption that affected Windows Azure Storage was a separate issue and has been resolved. All Windows Azure services are running as normal.”
Update 1: Things are back to normal, it appears. So you can now Netflix on your Xbox to your heart’s content. Still no word from Microsoft on what went down. More as we have it.
Reports surfaced recently that Xbox Live had gone dark. Other Microsoft services have followed. The problems appear to stem from Microsoft’s cloud computing service Azure, which is the brains for many Microsoft services.
According to the Windows Azure Services Dashboard, there is at least a problem with some Azure storage services, which is marked as present at suffering from “Performance Degradation.”
Azure is a growing product for Microsoft, with revenue over the billion dollar mark. It is also a core component of the New Microsoft, in which services replace traditional software. Those services more often than not run on Azure. If it goes down, it takes quite a bit with it.
I have several calls into Microsoft asking what’s up, and the like. They are likely still figuring it out for themselves. I cannot confirm at this time the extent of what is down, but I’m hearing that TechNet is scuppered, some people can’t get email, and so forth. This could take a while, folks, so put on your Patience Hat.
However, while Microsoft rights its ship and tells us what went down, at least there is time for jokes:
Top Image Credit: Flickr
Today Microsoft updated its SkyDrive application for iOS to include automatic camera backup. Users of SkyDrive can now opt to have every photo that they shoot on their iPhone saved and stored in Microsoft’s cloud.
SkyDrive provides a decent, if still inscrutably numbered 7 gigabytes of free storage – why not 8 or 8.1 remains outside of my comprehension – which you could quickly fill with photos. Still, Microsoft has integrated SkyDrive deeply across its products, meaning that if you exist at all in the world of Windows (Xbox One, Windows 8.1 and so forth), having your iOS photos quickly stored has real use: They are now accessible across your entire line of screens.
I met with Microsoft to discuss the updated iOS application, and was told that the company doesn’t want to discriminate on what you have in your pocket, provided that you are a SkyDrive user. In short, there is a large overlap between Windows users and iPhone users, and as such Microsoft wants to ensure that its cross-platform products are as strong as possible.
SkyDrive faces competition from a host of companies, including Google, Box, Dropbox, and others. There is a race afoot at the moment to store the world’s files in the cloud. Previously, in the age of local storage, who sold the operating system sold the file storage system – your PC was your own little private, on-prem cloud, if you will. Now with files migrating to huge pools of linked, public storage, the person who holds the files has the best chance to enable their editing and management.
Those are high-margin activities. Just ask Office. Continuing that theme, and I forget if this is new, but you can now create and edit plain text files inside of SkyDrive.com. Hint hint, Box.
Also out in the update is better OneNote integration, and improved Office file editing capabilities.
The marginal cost of cloud storage is falling to near zero at the moment. Microsoft’s own Outlook.com offers essentially unlimited storage, and Yahoo’s Flickr will land you with a full terabyte to store your photos. SkyDrive will need to catch up, especially given how deeply it is integrated into Windows 8.1.
For now, you can grab the updated iOS application here. If you are on Android, hush and be patient.
Top Image Credit: Flickr
Continue reading here: Microsoft Brings Automatic Camera Backup To SkyDrive On iOS
It’s been a painful few weeks for Adobe, as their network was compromised and over 150 million usernames and passwords of their customers were leaked online. In a fun (but quite scary) twist, a HackerNews member has created a crossword of the most popular leaked passwords.
A list of the most common passwords used for Creative Cloud accounts was released a few weeks ago which exposed just how insecure most users’ passwords are. As noted by the creator of the password crossword it’s best to use a tool to generate the password for you; “the current best practice for passwords is to generate a unique random password for every login and use a password management service such as KeePass, RoboForm, or LastPass.”
If you haven’t reset your Adobe Creative Cloud password already, you should reset it right now here.
➤ Leaked password crossword [Zed0]
Read more from the original source: Adobe’s leaked passwords are now a playable crossword game