Motorola is close to acquiring Zecter, the Y Combinator-backed developer of cloud storage and streaming applications ZumoDrive and ZumoCast, according to sources familiar with the matter. We hear that the deal will close this year and will likely be the last acquisition before Motorola Mobility, which is comprised of Motorola’s Mobile Devices and Home businesses, and Motorola split into two divisions in January. According to sources, Motorola Mobility will be the entity that will be absorbing Zecter.
So why would Motorola want Zecter? The startup has a number of compelling cloud storage products that have steadily gained traction amongst users. Zecter’s ZumoDrive offers a simple cloud storage and syncing service with a slight twist. Similar to other storage services, Zumodrive creates a drive on your device that is synced to the cloud. But service includes a slightly different twist-ZumoDrive tricks the file system into thinking those cloud-stored files are local, and streams them from the cloud when you open or access them.
ZumoDrive wirelessly syncs playlists between devices, auto-detects content, and lets users link file folders on their devices to ZumoDrive only once so that changes in that folder will always be linked to ZumoDrive. The service also integrates with media applications, like iTunes, so users can play entire music libraries saved in ZumoDrive on multiple devices without manually syncing content. And ZumoDrive offers a number of mobile apps, including native offerings for iPhone, Android and Palm smartphones. Motorola could be looking to add Zecter’s storage technologies to its suite of mobile phones.
Zecter recently launched ZumoCast, another cloud storage service. ZumoCast was launched as a way to avoid cloud storage costs on multiple devices. The app essentially turns your computer into a personal cloud server that streams your media libraries to your mobile devices upon demand. And it eliminates the cloud when syncing video and music on devices.
As more consumers move to the cloud, the startup has seen considerable success with ZumoDrive, raising $1.5 million in funding and landing a deal with HP to provide the cloud storage app on netbook devices.
Zecter, which was co-founded by David Zhao, previously launched a product called Versionate, an office-wiki product, that we first covered in July 2007. We wrote about them again a year ago. ZumoDrive faces competition from Dropbox, SugarSync, and Box.net.