Greek cloud storage startup longaccess launched a new company in June, called deepfreeze.io. Its service allows users to store files that they may not need immediate access to, but need to keep long-term.
Deepfreeze.io connects with Dropbox to allow users to extend their cloud-based storage. While in beta, the company is offering 100GB free cloud storage for a year.
Launched in February 2014, longaccess received $135,000 US (around €110,000) seed funding from JEREMIE Openfund II and Driin Holdings. Its focus is on long-term file storage, reducing the cost over other offerings to store files you don’t want to delete but rarely access.
Due to the Greek economy crashing in 2008, young people that were previously in government positions are now moving to the tech industry. With a youth unemployment rate of 60 percent despite relatively high education, citizens were faced with a decision. They could continue to be unemployed or launch their own businesses.
Out of this situation arose a Greek tech industry that is growing. According to Quartz, there were just a handful of tech companies in Greece prior to the financial crisis. Now Greece boasts around 200 companies focusing mostly on software development and apps.
Even the larger players in the industry are seeing Greece as emerging market. Microsoft added an innovation center in Amaroúsion, Greece, a city just north of Athens in August 2011.
Deepfreeze.io started as a side project at longaccess, “as a way to apply our technology and our experience at a simpler problem: a reliable, low-cost cloud storage for rarely used files —which turned out to be much more popular than we expected.”
The service can connect to Dropbox, a convenient way to allow users to transfer files between the two services.
“Technically, you wouldn’t need to be a Dropbox user and it’s a limitation we will remove in the future. A user could upload files using our Mac application (and soon the Windows version too), and download them as ZIP files when needed,” deepfreeze.io CEO Panayotis Vryanis told The Next Web about its integration with Dropbox.
“However, we think that the experience is much better for Dropbox users, because they get more options when uploading or downloading archives from Deepfreeze.io. We want our users to have options and to get different ways to make the best out of Deepfreeze.io and actually use the space they have. So, at least while we are in beta, our intention is to keep it tightly integrated with Dropbox and add more cloud storage services as soon as we can.”
Deepfreeze.io is currently in beta testing, but it currently offers a desktop client for Mac, a web-based management portal, and is working on a Windows app. The service is different from others in that it doesn’t provide immediate access to files you wish to “unfreeze.” Instead this process takes about 4 hours. This should be fine if you use the service as intended – a storage location for files not accessed very often.
Other startup cloud and file storage companies are receiving a lot of funding lately. Recently Denmark-based Rushfiles received 3.5M to compete in the international storage market. Other companies such as Avere, Cloudian (with offices in the US as well as Japan and China) and Box received funding within the last six months.
Pricing has become less of an issue with cloud storage. Over the last couple of years, storage prices have been dropping. According to Ashar Baig, research director at Gigaom, in an interview with the WHIR earlier this year, with the recent price reductions in cloud going from about $1 per GB per month just a year ago to about 2.5 cents a GB per month now, providers can’t compete on price.
It will be interesting to see if the Greek startups can successfully compete in the very competitive cloud market. Deepfreeze.io might succeed due to its unique value proposition to the cloud market. However, since part of its strategy is based on pricing, this could be an issue at a later date as larger cloud service providers begin to offer similar services.