Bitcasa pulls out of consumer cloud storage

Bitcasa is pulling out of consumer cloud storage to focus on its platform business, giving users a month’s notice to move their data elsewhere — and providing the perennial reminder that if you don’t own the infrastructure your data is at the mercy of the entity that does.

Users of the discontinued Bitcasa Drive cloud storage product have until May 20 to download their data. After 11:59 p.m. PST on May 20, 2016, the company notes that all accounts and storage data will be permanently deleted.

It confirmed the pivot out of consumer cloud storage in a very short blog post last last week, writing:

We are discontinuing our Bitcasa Drive service in order to focus our full attention on our growing platform business.

All account owners must take action to avoid losing their files. For more information, please visit our Help Center.

Thank you for being a Bitcasa Drive user. We have appreciated all of your support.

Back in fall 2014 Bitcasa nixed its unlimited consumer cloud storage offering, and appeared to be shifting focus towards the b2b space even then. Although it continued in the consumer space with more pricey storage plans.

It’s now evidently rethought the value of offering even higher-priced consumer cloud storage — doubtless as a consequence of fierce competition in the space with tech giants including Google, Dropbox, Microsoft and Amazon all duking it out to onboard as many consumers as possible.

Last year, for example, Google switched on a free and unlimited photo storage offering for consumers, applying more pricing pressure to an already fiercely competitive space. Meanwhile Bitcasa had already discontinued the unlimited storage feature it began with as a startup back in 2011.

Bitcasa’s pitch now is to ‘make public cloud storage simple’ by offering a series of Cloud Storage Platform APIs and branded applications enabling developers to add file storage, access and sharing to their applications.

It says its platform business offers licensee companies infrastructure, applications, and administrative controls to support them to offer their own secure, branded cloud storage solutions.

In one example of its new business focus, in fall last year it inked a licensing agreement with flash storage device maker SanDisk for the development of SanDisk-branded cloud storage solutions using its cloud storage platform — with Bitcasa CEO Brian Taptich taking the moment to talk up the potential for cloud storage to “ultimately become disaggregated, creating a huge opportunity for Bitcasa and our partners.”

So tl;dr, battling some of tech’s biggest brands in the consumer cloud space is a very tough ask. Bitcasa’s bet now is to help smaller brands battle those bigger entities instead.

Investors in Bitcasa include Horizons Ventures, Pelion Venture Partners, First Round Capital, Samsung Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz.