Kloudless launched at Disrupt NY 2013 today with its service for moving data from email to different cloud platforms through connectors which act like pipes that flow between the different services.
The service offers a plugin that the user installs in Outlook or as an extension through their web browser to use in Gmail or other apps, said CEO Eliot Sun. Kloudless does not store any data, nor files, the service sits in the middle, acting basically as just a pipeline.
When looking at Kloudless, think of services such as ifttt but with less automation and more ability to customize how data flows out of email and into other services. The idea is to give people more flexibility when moving data. It may be that you want some ways to customize the data when pulling into Salesforce.com or some other app. It pulls data on-demand from one cloud service to another. For example, Sun said it has the capability to pull in data points from an analytics tool to a discussion in a service such a Yammer.
Venture Capitalist Tim Draper and Yammer Co-Founder David Sacks liked the idea so much that they put a seed investment into the company. So far the company has raised $889,000. They believe that Kloudless can be a wedge in the market, offering the automation and the flexibility that companies need. Plus, it provides a level of data governance that can be developed with more customized solutions. There may be integrations that a company standardizes for reasons of compliance but also gives freedom in other ways that an automated system can't offer.
Kloudless is, in technical parlance, a “message bus” for the cloud. The message bus is a permanent layer, an intricate event-based system - a middleware essentially. Every event, every request, goes through the message bus. The data gets normalized and sent to the right place, in the right context. Companies such as Tibco have made a fortune selling message bus technology.
Other companies like Tibco, Mulesoft and SnapLogic provide top down systems. Kloudless provides a bottom-up approach. It's both a consumer type app and for managers, team leaders, and IT to provide dashboards for better visibility into data ownership/workflow and the ability to set cross-application policies.
Kloudless uses a consumer enterprise style pricing. It's free with limited features. Pricing starts at $3 a month. It uses its foundation as an email platform to network. The idea is to build enough momentum so the person who makes the business decisions will see its value and buy it.
CEO Elliot Sun tells TechCrunch he had plans to develop a consumer app. They played with the idea of a cloud search engine, but it was a tough sell. The cross-file capability seemed like something that might be viable. He started talking about it at events around the Bay Area and some data architects with big companies took notice.
The Kloudless management team looks like a bunch of people assembled for a five-year high school reunion. But as Glide CEO Eli Rubel said to me last week in Portland in his youthful deadpan way: “Data does not lie.”