In cloud storage war, Mover arms developers with data migration tools

As the so-called cloud storage wars between services like Dropbox, Box, Google Drive and others rage on, Canadian startup Mover wants to make a name for itself as an arms dealer in the ongoing battle for dominance.

The five-person company, which is based in Edmonton, Alberta, this week graduated from Vancouver’s GrowLab accelerator and won a ‘startup smackdown of 24 startups at the GROW Conference, which also took place this week in Vancouver.

The company’s pitch is that as different cloud storage providers vie for consumer attention, developers (the startup’s target audience) should be able to easily move their data between platforms and integrate user data stored across them. Its bullish closing tagline: “There is a cloud storage war coming, and Mover is selling the guns.”

As a judge for the startup competition, I was interested by the company’s one-minute elevator pitch.  As my colleague Barb Darrow has written, businesses of all sizes want secure, reliable cloud storage and several players are attempting to meet that demand. But moving data between the different platforms can be a challenge.

Since launching its first app in March, Mover has moved more than 20 terabytes of data, including 40 million files for 11,000 users, and it says that volume is doubling every month.

A few other companies, such as Otixo, Cloudring and SMEStorage, offer file transfer services. But founder and CEO Eric Warnke told me that his startup’s ultimate vision is bigger than that.

“Moving files is just the tipping point of what we want to do,” said Warnke. “We’re going to be this leveling layer for all Web services.”

Instead just offering a single-feature app that transfers files, he said they want to be a platform for satisfying all of a developer’s cloud-based needs.

Down the road, developers could use Mover to move statistics data, whole databases and entire apps, he said. But they could also use it to integrate with data stored by their users in the cloud.

For example, if a fashion app centered around image recognition needs to access pictures stored by users across different cloud storage providers, it could let Mover take care of that function and focus on the features that are core to the app’s experience.

The company has partnered with Box and is running pilots with other cloud companies like Oxygen Cloud and Egnyte, but its focus will ultimately be developers, whom it will charge depending on how frequently they use its APIs and how much data they’re moving.