FileThis, the cloud-based document filing service that works something like Mint.com, in that it automatically logs into your online accounts then gathers data on your behalf, is now taking its service mobile with the introduction of the FileThis iOS application.
The service was first announced at MacWorld in 2012. Today, FileThis can access your documents saved online, like your bank statements, bills, and other files from your credit card companies, cable/Internet provider, your mobile operator, insurance company, online trading account, health insurer and more. Those files are then synced to the cloud storage service of your choice for safe keeping, including Evernote, Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, Personal and, now, FileThis’s own online storage solution called FileThis Cloud.
In addition, users can also scan and upload their own files using a desktop application designed for Mac.
The idea for FileThis came about after co-founder Brian Berson and his brother had to move their mother to an assisted living facility and were faced with having to work through 20 years’ worth of her documents. They didn’t know what to save and what to toss, and it was an overwhelming task to say the least.
“Going through all of that, I realized that we’re living in the 21st century – we’re living in a digital world – and yet, as consumers, we still deal with a lot of paperwork,” says Berson. Documents come to us in the mail in paper format, while others are made available digitally, but not easily accessible to us. It’s the latter that is FileThis’s main focus. It’s trying to make it easier for us to collect, organize, archive and search across those online files, which are today scattered around the web.
To get started with the service, U.S. consumers sign up for an account, add their preferred archival destinations (e.g. Dropbox, Google Drive, Evernote, etc.), then add their connections to their online accounts at their utilities, financial services, online retailers like Gap or Amazon, and others. There are now around 350 supported institutions you can connect with, and the company is adding 20 to 25 more each month.
Berson says that once FileThis supports 3,000 institutions, it will reach roughly 85 percent to 90 percent of most used services on the market. (It’s currently at 75 percent, he estimates, because the 350 it supports now are the largest ones.) The average user on FileThis has 12.8 online connections, he also notes.
The product is a freemium service, with up to six institutions available for free, and a paid tier ($4.99/month, 30 connections) for those who need more. Though the company declined to provide exact user base figures, it’s now in the “five digits,” we’re told, and is seeing an 18 percent conversion rate from free to paid.
Now available on mobile, FileThis’s application for iPhone and iPad lets users connect to their online accounts, configure their cloud storage preferences, and view their saved files while on the go. But it also adds a key feature that works around one of the service’s earlier pain points: file uploads.
Before, users would have to scan their paper files to digital format — a time-consuming task, at best, and certainly a cumbersome one for those who don’t have an at-home desktop scanner. With the mobile app, you can instead snap a photo of a file or receipt and add it to your FileThis online collection.
That will see the service competing to some extent with another newer startup, Mustbin, a mobile app that last winter raised $4.5 million in Series A funding for its personal data organizer. I’ve personally found Mustbin very handy for keeping track of all the random paperwork I’m still handed out there in the real world, from receipts for new tires to vet bills to financial statements and more. But FileThis’s app now offers a compelling alternative, especially because I know my files can be archived on a platform that will probably stick around for a while, like Google Drive or Dropbox.
San Francisco-based FileThis, co-founded by CTO Trent Brown, is a 10-person company backed by $2 million in funding from undisclosed strategic investors, including an unnamed Fortune 500 company. (FileThis’s SEC filing only reveals John Wortman of Valeo Financial Advisors is involved).
The new iOS application is available as a free download here. An Android version will be available in May.