Two S'pore firms launch backup solutions, one targeting consumers and the other, the enterprise market.
2 of 2 WITH so much information in digital form these days, the pain of potentially losing everything in one keystroke has cast a looming shadow over users.
Two young Singapore companies have struck on the need to back up premise and launched solutions which have generated considerable initial interest.
The difference between the two is, one is targeted at consumers while the other squarely looks at the enterprise market. And according to them, there is much opportunity that lies in providing that backup service, because the majority of users remain unable to perform backup themselves.
Dropmyemail.com made a splash in March when it launched. Two months later, the personal email backup service bagged itself 500,000 sign-ups, and right now the count is at 630,000.
Its CEO, John Fearon, said the site was born out of demand from clients of its older, sister service, dropmysite.com, which asked for an email service in addition to the website-backup service they were subscribed to.
Dropmysite caught on less quickly, he admitted, probably because far more people have email than they do a website. The older service, launched in September, has about 40,000 users.
The reason Dropmyemail attracted so much attention is that people are starting to rely very heavily on their personal email accounts for data storage, keeping receipts to transaction information, he said.
"And Gmail is hacked thousands of times every day. One in five users have been hacked, and 60 per cent of victims don't realise it. Do you want to take the chance that you've been hacked and you don't have a backup?" said Mr Fearon.
While most of its hundreds of thousands of users are non-paying, the firm has so far raised $365,000 in a funding round, and is planning to launch advertising within its service in the coming months. "This will mean the free customers will make us money, too," he said.
The South African native, who has lived and worked in the Middle East and Thailand in online marketing before settling here, is managing his resources across a small team of 10.
The firm's Singapore office remains its headquarters, in addition to an office in Buenos Aires that opened in May and a Mumbai office opening in June.
It runs its service on Amazon Web Services' data centre in Singapore, so the expensive part of backing up - providing storage - is taken care of.
Mr Fearon added that Amazon's infrastructure also allows the firm to extend hosting services all over the world with Amazon's global bases. This is crucial in its next step, where it plans to partner telcos and other online players to go to market together in different regions, he said.
Interest in the start-up has picked up sufficiently and the team can now boast that it has wrested Vinoaj Vijeyakumaar, a senior conversion executive at Google Southeast Asia, over to its team. He is the new head of product development at Dropmyemail.
The basic 500MB (megabyte) service goes for free, with 5GB (gigabyte) of email storage priced at US$9.99 per year and 10GB at $19.99 per year.
On the other end of the spectrum is Kronicles Asia.
The firm offers a backup service targeted at midsized businesses, providing an onsite backup "pod" of a company's servers with 30 days of file change history.
The onsite backup allows for quick recovery in the event of failure, but it also replicates online to a remote site. The remote backup is meant to be a further line of protection should the premises be physically destroyed, along with the pod.
The company's staff will also man control stations and call companies to alert them if their daily backups failed.
Having started only in January this year, the firm has moved quickly to strike deals with industry partners.
Last week, it launched its backup service in the country together with local telco, StarHub. And the firm plans to go public by the end of the year.
Kronicles Asia's CEO Piti Pramotedham knows a thing or two about backing up.
He was the managing director for South Asia and Southeast Asia at Computer Associates, before becoming partner for risk consulting at Deloitte & Touche.