We haven’t covered file storage and synchronization service Egnyte before, but it’s been around since 2008, and is now syncing roughly 5 billion files with more than 500,000 user licenses. In other words, there are quite a few people using it.
Egnyte can best be described as a Dropbox-like service that focuses primarily on helping small and medium-sized businesses sync their files. But it isn’t entirely cloud-based. Instead, it’s using a so-called hybrid solution, where businesses keep a Network-Attached Storage device linked up to their office’s computers, which serves as a ‘local cloud’ — all files are synced and backed up on this local, network connected hardware. Because these files are available on-site, Internet access isn’t required to access them, and latency is minimized. These Local Clouds can consist of Netgear ReadyNAS devices, or VMware-based virtual appliances.
But this same, ‘local cloud’ NAS is also hooked up to Egnyte’s servers, and any changes made between the client computers and the files on the NAS are also synced up to the web for remote access. Once these files are in the cloud, company admins can enable file sharing between employees and also to business partners, who can be given restricted access to specific files. This cloud portion also serves as a remote backup, and files can be accessed from Macs, Windows, and mobile phones.
So why would a business use this over other sync apps? CEO Vineet Jain explains that when you have a team of seven or eight employees, where all necessary files can be replicated across everyone’s computer without running into storage constraints, than solutions like Dropbox and Sugarsync are fine. But he says that when it comes to managing storage for fifty people, or hundreds, then that can become untenable, which is where Egnyte comes in.
Jain says that the company has focused on SMBs from day one, and that Egynte is increasingly drawing larger clients. Egynte used to see an average order size of around six seats per account — now, over the last two quarters, that number is trending up toward over 25 seats per account. He also says that monthly recurring revenue has been growing 20% month over month for the last seven months.
Egnyte was founded in 2006 and has raised over $6 million in funding, including a Series A round in July 2009 from Maples Investments and Polaris Venture Partners.
It’s worth noting that Dropbox recently launched Dropbox for Teams, which makes it better suited for multiple users under one main account, and its 1.0 release includes selective sync (you no longer have to copy all synced directories to all linked computers). But it seems like Egnyte’s service is, at this point at least, catering more directly to larger businesses. There’s also a Sugarsync for businesses and Syncplicity for businesses , but none of these use the same hybrid storage model as Egnyte.