Like Dropbox, Box, and Google Drive, ESTmob’s Send Anywhere offers file sharing–but with a key difference. Instead of first saving files to cloud storage, Send Anywhere enables users to share content peer-to-peer between devices in real time. The Seoul-based startup company announced that it has raised a $1 million seed round led by SaeMin Ahn, a managing partner at Rakuten Ventures, with participation from Andrew McGlinchey, Andy Warner, and two Korean angel investors.
Rakuten Ventures is the investment arm of the Japanese e-commerce and Internet services company that recently purchased Viber in a $900 million deal.
ESTmob, which was spun-off in 2012 from ESTsoft, lets users share files by pairing two devices and using a temporary key confirmation, which means it requires no registration or login. Send Anywhere is targeted towards people who want to access files on multiple devices and is currently available for free as an online service or on iOS and Android.
In an email, co-founder Suhyuk Kang told TechCrunch that Send Anywhere’s peer-to-peer sharing is faster than its competitors for sending many large files at once.
“Most people using multiple devices use them in the same local network, or in very close range. Why go through the cloud?” he explained. “Cloud servers are likely to be a very long distance from the user’s device. It’s slow, there are security concerns, and it’s expensive.”
Furthermore, other file-sharing services may perform slowly for users outside of the U.S., especially if they are trying to sync large multimedia files. One benefit of bypassing a cloud server is privacy.
“I believe we can be a complementary service for cloud services in the global market,” Kang said.
Another potential competitor is WhatsApp and other messengers that allow photo- and video-sharing, but Kang says Send Anywhere preserves the quality of image files while letting users send large batches of data–more than 100 photos or 2GB of videos.
Send Anywhere’s next major update is remote access for registered devices, that will create a user experience closer to services like Dropbox while still bypassing the need for a cloud server.