[Start-up] Wimi: the hybrid solution and alternative to Dropbox

by bold-lichterman

2 in 1 and dedicated to professionals, Wimi presents itself as the small French competitor of Dropbox. Launched in beta a year ago, the service claims 3,400 accounts and aims to multiply this figure by 10 by the end of 2013. This acceleration must go through a new fundraising and development in the United States.

Edited by the Parisian start-up Cloud Solutions, Wimi brings together two complementary features on a single platform: file storage and sharing, like Dropbox, and collaborative online project management, like Basecamp for example. “Thanks to our service, users can define very finely, and in a few clicks, the management of access rights to documents”, explains Lionel Roux, President of Cloud Solutions.

Intuitive, the solution has already won over 3,400 companies. “Currently, we are experiencing monthly growth of 25% ”, specifies Lionel Roux. In the month of December alone, the young shoot would have conquered 600 additional accounts. A rate which could be explained in particular by the arrival of maturity of the product, the positive feedback of specialized bloggers and a phenomenon of word of mouth, particularly effective when there is on average 5 users per registration.

With this growth, the start-up expects 10,000 SME accounts by next summer before passing the 35,000 mark by the end of the year. In order to achieve this goal, the start-up plans to expand its activity in the United States. “We already have an address in San Francisco, but our commercial actions will not begin before the end of the first quarter of 2013. It is a more mature and more equipped market than France” estimates Lionel Roux.

To finance its expansion, Cloud Solutions should complete a new round of fundraising in the coming months. Some of the funds raised could enable Wimi to expand its teams, which currently have 10 technical profiles. The start-up had already finalized a financing round of 680,000 €, in two stages, with a panel of business angels.

Based on a business model in freemium mode, Cloud Solutions does not yet communicate on its turnover. The start-up specifies, however, want to account, in the long term, between 5 and 10% of paid accounts.

In France, the Bordeaux start-up Azendoo, publisher of a SaaS solution for the management of collaborative projects, announced last July the finalization a fundraising of 1.3M €.