Accellion gets $12M funding for enterprise file-sharing

Nathan Pensky · January 4, 2012 · Short URL:

Company called 'Dropbox for enterprise' brings secure file-sharing for mobile devices

Enterprise level mobile file sharing company Accellion, otherwise known as "Dropbox for the enterprise," announced Wednesday that it has raised $12 million in a Series C Round of funding from investors Riverwood Capital., 

"The funding will be used to spur growth in terms of talent, geography, and partnerships," said a representative of the company to VatorNews.

Founded in 1999, Accellion has about 100 employees worldwide, with headquarters in Palo Alto and offices elsewhere in North America and Europe. Accellion's clientele range from companies and organizations with 100 to 100,000 network users, providing cloud-based file-sharing solutions.

Speaking of different sized corporate packages, Accellion has something called the Accellion Channel Partners Program, where different levels of involvement with the company's system can yield relative benefits. For example, those companies that provide Accellion with quarterly projections are awarded SPIFF/rebates.

"Accellion provides enterprise-class mobile file sharing solutions that enable secure anytime, anywhere access to information," said the Accellion rep. "[We] protect intellectual property, ensure compliance, improve business productivity and reduce IT costs."

I asked Accellion speifically about the role of mobile devices in its services, and how it would affect its expansion as a result of this new funding. "If you think about this week, there was a huge influx of new iPads and smartphones that went to work with people after the holidays," said the Accellion rep. "If you have one, you’re going to want to make the most of it and be as productive as possible.

"[But] Since there’s no file folder structure on an iPad, people start to download free apps like Dropbox to help them access work, and other, files on the go. Once they do that, an enterprise has no insight into what happens to that file or who it is shared with. For organizations that care about compliance, protecting intellectual property and potential data breaches, this is a problem they are looking to solve.

"Our customers address this problem by giving their employees and external users access to an easy-to-use, managed, secure application like Accellion instead," the Accillion rep continued.

"Cloud-based solutions" is a phrase we hear a lot these days. But for companies transferring documents and files of a sensitive nature, a lot of those solutions come in the form of security, specifically that files are kept within a closed system. Providing secure file transfers opn the enterprise level, especially on mobile devices, is the name of the game for Accellion.

Catchy nicknames notwithstanding, there are differences between Accellion's enterprise level file-sharing system and  Dropbox's customer-based service. A recent 2011 complaint to the FCC against Dropbox claimed that the company is not using best practices to protect their customers against identity or information theft, which prompted Accellion to respond thusly, concerning the differences between Dropbox and Accellion:

"[Our] customers can choose to completely manage their Accellion deployment, with no visibility to Accellion of the system or any files, via our virtual private cloud or physical or FIPS deployment options. Alternatively customers can choose the Accellion public hosted cloud service in which case they choose to authorize Accellion to perform management functions and provide the necessary access or permissions - we leave it to the customer to choose," said the company, about the FCC complaint.

Dropbox also issued a statement regarding the FCC complaint, claiming it does everything possible to protect customers against information theft, and even changed some of their Terms of Service to be more transparent.

Listing among Accellion's 1100 clients are such businesses and government agencies as Procter & Gamble, Kaiser Permanente, Foley & Mansfield, Bridgestone, Harvard University, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and NASA.

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