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Deal Radar 2009: NomaDesk

Posted on Wednesday, Sep 23rd 2009

Today’s Deal radar focuses on NomaDesk, which is short for “nomadic software”, an on-demand service (SaaS) that allows business teams to secure, sync and share data with no limits. Headquartered in Belgium, NomaDesk was founded by Filip Tack in September 2004. At the time, the industry was on the rebound from the dot-com bust, which meant that there was little competition for the company. Further, according to Tack, the two comparables around that time, Xdrive (AOL) and iFolder (Novell) are no longer around.

NomaDesk turns a dedicated area of any local hard drive into a virtual fileserver listed in Windows Explorer. Further, the company offers TheftGuard™, which allows users to shred data from a remote location. TheftGuard has recently been enhanced with advanced tracking to locate a lost laptop or mobile device using Google Maps.

The company offers two solutions: Team Fileserver and Personal Fileserver. Team Fileserver is aimed at organizations in which users can share files with people inside and outside their organization. Any member of the Team Fileserver can create and edit files. The files are automatically synchronized, with a copy on both the NomaDesk remote servers and the computers of every user connected to the account, as soon as changes are made. The Personal Fileserver can be used to access one’s files on multiple computers. However, this feature can be used by only one user with multiple computers. The Personal Fileserver automatically synchronizes the user’s files on all his computers (with a maximum of five).

NomaDesk seeks to eliminate the high costs associated with traditional “pay-per-user” models by offering flat rate pricing. The Team Fileserver costs $15 per month, which includes unlimited storage and gives access to an unlimited number of team members. The Personal Fileserver costs $50 per year and comes with unlimited storage.

The company is targeting small- to medium-sized business teams with people who work remotely, telecommute, or are often working from the field, including small teams within bigger companies. The industries in which NomaDesk customers work are diverse, with predominance in IT consultancy, legal services and management consulting.

Throughout 2008 and the first half of 2009, NomaDesk was delivered as an unlimited free beta and gained the traction with nearly 100,000 registrations in the first couple of months. The conversion rate from free-trial to paid subscription is about 20%. The company has also signed deals with OEMs and resellers, the details of which it plans to disclose before the end of 2009. NomaDesk has been generating revenue since April 2009 and is looking to be profitable by the end of 2010.

According to IDC forecasts, the worldwide storage-as-a-service market is expected to pass the $3 billion mark by 2012, with a compound annual growth rate greater than 29% from 2007 to 2012. Box.net, Google Apps, Dropbox and Mozy compete with NomaDesk for a share of the pie. However, the company feels that the others are not suited to “nomadic professionals”. Box.net, GoogleApps and Mozy require an Internet connection available at all times, which NomaDesk feels that is not always feasible. For Dropbox, the compant feels that the pure synchronization tools lack the essential user management and security for business file sharing.

NomaDesk has raised €3.3 million so far: a €300,000 funding from founders, business angels, government loans and subsidies and a €3 million Series A from the founders, business angels and Gimv. The company is looking to raise a €5 million Series B in the near future.

Suggested Reading:
*Deal Radar 2009: Confidela
*Deal Radar 2008: Jive Software
*Innovating Web 2.0 Storage: Fabrik CEO Mike Cordano

This segment is a part in the series : Deal Radar 2009


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