Personal Cloud: the French Cozy Cloud raises 800,000 euros
“We want everyone – even someone who doesn’t know anything about it – to have their own personal server and host their own data locally. More than the reappropriation of data, the added value lies in the ease of centralizing your data ”explains Benjamin André, co-founder alongside Frank Rousseau, of Cozy Cloud, a French start-up which has just completed a round of funding of 800 000 euros from Innovacom and Seed4Soft. The company founded in 2012 does not provide a personal server, but a management platform that centralizes and synchronizes user data between the different services it uses. They are free to choose their hosting service afterwards: locally, or with a provider.
“Combine all your data”
Currently in the test phase, the two entrepreneurs have already signed partnerships with several web players, mostly French, to boost their platform. These include Orange, Alcatel-Lucent and even the OVH hosting juggernaut. And to attract the general public, they are working with La Poste to develop a box – marketed in the brand’s offices – that automatically backs up data on a local or personal server. A product like what Lima is already doing, a French start-up which, after launching a campaign on Kickstarter, has just raised 2.5 million euros from Partech Venture. “When we launch, one of our first steps will also be to win over OVH customers, many of whom are early-adopters and subscribe to personal server offers ”.
“But Cozy Cloud is about hosting more than just files. From our platform, we want users to be able to group together all their data: gas consumption statements, bank statements, photos… The only person with the rights to federate personal data is the individual, he can retrieve them without having to make an agreement with any service (Google, Facebook, etc.). For example, bank data can be retrieved locally. And even if it is and will remain at the bank, with Cozy Cloud, it is possible to collect data from several accounts from several banks, and host them on a personal server, to bring them together on a single platform. »Explains Mr. André. With such a goal, the company must count on competition from ownCloud, which raised 6.3 million euros last March. “They are more on a B2B model whereas we intend to market in B2B2C”.
Of the 34 industrial plans launched by Arnaud Montebourg in September 2013, Cozy Cloud is one of the thirteen companies appearing in the “Cloud Plan” alongside Prestashop, Cloudwatt, Talentsoft, Jolicloud or even big names like Orange and French Bull, for which Atos has just filed a public purchase operation to hope to form a major French player in the sector.
“For the personal cloud to develop and become a real alternative to GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, editor’s note), the administration must facilitate the possession of a personal domain and liberalize the market as has been done at the time with the portability of the telephone number, facilitating the changes of operators for a customer. We need data portability ”according to Benjamin André.
With these new funds, he wants to expand the teams to continue and accelerate product development. Currently composed of 6 employees, all working from home and exclusively engineers, the company hopes to increase to 10 to 15 employees, still with engineers. “We still have a lot to do in terms of product development. I continue to take care of the marketing and the financial part ”. Jérôme Faul, director of investments at Innovacom, and Franck Delorme, Seed4Soft, should support him.