For some tech companies, Edward Snowden is good for business. Take ownCloud for instance. The company paints its service as a secure way to share documents which also lets companies use whatever repositories they like — Egnyte, Amazon, Dropbox.
And now the Lexington, Mass.-based company has $6.3 million in new funding, atop the $4.4 million it logged late last year, to close out its Series A round. The round was led by new backer Devonshire Investors with contributions from General Catalyst Partners, and current angel investors.
The company also released a new version of its software with support for Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) authentication and integration with Jive unified messaging. The latter illustrates ownCloud’s ability to work with almost any file system, object store or in Jive’s case — a set of REST APIs. That enables ownCloud to access an authorized user’s files wherever they reside.
CERN, the European nuclear research laboratory, is using ownCloud to help its users share work documents wherever the user — or the document — is. That’s important for an organization with 3,500 or so of its own employees plus thousands of affiliated researchers from around the world who need to work while in the office, or on a train or plane, said Massimo Lamanna, section leader of CERN’s data and storage service group. At the lab, ownCloud will be used for personal productivity type work — sharing documents and files — not for the big data storage needs generated by its research.
OwnCloud CEO Markus Rex said the company is gaining traction in organizations that must meet regulatory and compliance guidelines. That’s a potentially big market, but also one that’s heavily contested by a half dozen or more competitors, including the aforementioned Egnyte, as well as Accellion, Box, and others, all plowing this ground.