Storage site startup Drop.io has raised a $2.7 million Series A round led by DFJ Gotham and RRE ventures. The 5-person company has raised $3.9 million during its lifespan, which dates all the way back to last August; we guesstimate the company is now valued in the $7 million to $10 million range. That means co-founders Sam Lessin (24), and Darshan Somashekar (25), both fresh from Bain, are now competing with Tumblr‘s David Karp for NYC’s “kids with the sexiest, best-funded startup” award.
Drop.io is a slick, lightweight Web service that lets users store — and share — just about anything they want, and promises not to look at what they’ve got in there. Each “drop” lets users store up to 100MB for free, for up to one year, and users can sign up for as many drops as they want. For a $10 annual fee users can bump their storage up to a gig.
The Drop.io guys won’t spell out specific user stats, but say they “hundreds of thousands of people” have been using the service since it launched in November, and that “mid-tens of thousands” of drops are active at any time. It’s supposed to be used by people who want to privately share documents, photos, videos, etc — co-workers swapping data remotely, or a college kid who doesn’t want to put their best spring break photos on Facebook, etc.
Less charitable observers might also think of Drop.io as a Swiss bank account for data, but Sam bristles at the term. While Drop.io doesn’t peer into users’ accounts, it does track IP addresses, and the company says it will freeze accounts that have been “flagged”, by say, copyright holders. Or law enforcement.
So where is all of that money Drop.io just raised going to go? There are back-end, storage and bandwidth costs, Sam says. And he’ll be hiring more developers. But expect to see the Drop.io name much more often in the near future. Beginning with its debut at NY Tech Meetup, Drop.io has been well-received by Webheads, but Sam wants to reach a much larger audience; a big marketing campaign is up next, he says.
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