Bangalore-based Shareboard, a cloudless, mobile file-sharing app which allows one to share files with phone contact and nearby users, told e27 that it is looking to raise US$350K in a seed round.
Incubated at the JFDI accelerator programme in Singapore, Shareboard allows users to share any size (1MB or 10GB) or type (photos, videos, documents, apps, folders, etc.) of files instantly. These files can be shared with one individual or more than a group of 100 people at the same time.
Founded in October 2014 by Pawan Kumar, Divyanshu Singh, Arpita Singh, Gagan Chaudhary and Ranjeet Kumar, Shareboard also enables users to share files within same LAN without using Internet data and hence saving on Internet data charges.
Shareboard creates a peer-to-peer network with your phone contacts and nearby devices. It allows browsing and downloading files directly from a friend’s mobile using peer-to-peer technology and transfers data directly from one device to another without storing it on the cloud, giving better speed than cloud services, according to the startup.
With its inbuilt notification, users are automatically notified when they receive files. Even on network loss, files are automatically resumed from where they have stopped.
In most campuses or corporate LANs, people still use hard disks, USB sticks or expensive cloud services to share files. The startup wants to change this by targetting university campuses first.
“It will take 12 months runway for us to reach our next milestone of 200K academic users, at 400 campuses. With this growth rate, we aim to hit one million users within 18 months,” he said.
Plans to utilise the seed round
With the US$350K funding, the startup plans to rollout premium services, covering costs for its engineering, infrastructure and marketing. It is currently available on Android.
“We will be expanding to other platforms like iOS, Windows phone, desktop, OS X. We will also spend on advertisement and marketing in the top 400 campuses,” he explained. (Sic)
File sharing is complex despite so many players
With huge amount of apps available in the market, still file sharing is complex and complicated on mobile devices. Some apps restrict on file size, some on type, some degrade the quality of photos and videos, and some work only within Wi-Fi.
“Peer-to-peer solutions like AirDrop, Firechat, FrostWire and Wi-Fi Transfer work only on local Wi-Fi and do not failover to cellular data. AirDrop is very polished but iOS-only. We will work across multiple platforms – this is the same advantage Dropbox had over iDrive,” Divyanshu Singh told e27.
“And we are designed for persistent, browsable file sharing rather than push-style messaging,” he added.
According to Singh, traditional messaging apps like WhatsApp and email do allow some degree of file-sharing but fail to preserve photo quality, have file size and type restrictions and cloud storage services like Dropbox, Google Drive and Huddle can share files, but they are slow in low bandwidth and can be expensive.
The startup believes that its speed and simplicity to share files on mobile is a clear differentiator. “Unlike other apps, Shareboard does not have any restrictions,” Singh said.
Eyeing the Southeast Asian market
“In the future, our app will integrate with existing social network and file sharing apps, read existing sharing policy settings and update native sharing permissions accordingly. Also, files may persist even in the absence of the original. This helps handle popular files under high demand,” Singh stated.
The startup is seeing good traction from Nepal apart from India. It will be targetting Southeast Asia after India and will expand to USA, Europe later.