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Bitcasa, the developer of a cloud storage offering that promises unlimited storage capacity for $10 per month, Wednesday unveiled a new round of funding as well as a new public beta of its service.
The Series A funding run brought $7 million to Bitcasa's coffers from a number of venture capitalists, including a strategic investment by Samsung Ventures, said Tony Gauda, co-founder and CEO of the Mountain View, Calif.-based cloud storage developer.
Bitcasa's initial target is the consumer public cloud storage, file share and mobile device data sync market currently occupied by Dropbox, iCloud, Microsoft SkyDrive, Google Drive, Sugar Sync, Box.net and Mozy Home, said Fiaz Mohamed, business development director for the company.
"Over the next few months, we'll look at SMBs and partners like Samsung," Mohamed said. "We have unannounced partnerships with existing vendors."
Bitcasa's technology was built from the ground up to let customers store unlimited data on the company's cloud at a cost of $10 per month, Gauda said. Data is encrypted and deduped on the client side before it is uploaded to the cloud, where only a single copy of duplicate blocks of data is stored.
However, unlike most cloud storage offerings where the focus is on either backing up data sitting on client devices or on offering file sharing or device data synchronization, Bitcasa's cloud serves as primary storage for whatever data the customers wish to store there, he said.
"Our goal is to be like a Western Digital or a Seagate drive," he said. "We want to be an external storage vendor. We've seen customers plug in an external storage device, virtualize it, copy its data to our cloud, and then throw the device away."
This is done, Gauda said, by letting users decide how big of a cache on their client devices they wish to dedicate to their storage before sending all data to the Bitcasa cloud. Bitcasa uses that cache to keep frequently accessed data available locally for fast access, and even predicts what data will be accessed beforehand so it can download it from the cloud to the device.
And because the data is encrypted before being uploaded to the Bitcasa cloud, users' data sits securely in the cloud while being available, in most cases, at local device speed, he said.
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