Throwing good money after bad: MiMedia somehow raises $15M to compete in consumer cloud

Given that there is (almost) a cloud file storage solution for every consumer out there, you'd be forgiven for thinking that getting investment in the sector would be hard. MiMedia seems to counter that logical assumption.

I've been writing about file sharing and collaboration services for a long time now. Heck, I remember Box co-foudner and CEO Aaron Levie back when he was a fresh-faced unknown. He's still fresh-faced, but the sector he's a poster child for - file sharing and sync - is perhaps the single most crowded tech market right now. With standalone vendors such as Box, Egnyte, and Syncplicity and bigger platform plays such as Microsoft's OneDrive or Google's Drive, there is a dizzying number of competitors vying for attention.

So you'd be forgiven for assuming that the massive competition and huge number of vendors in space would make securing funding for yet another company difficult, especially for one that is relatively obscure. But in making that assumption, you'd be forgetting the fact that investors, desperate to avoid missing out on the next big thing, tend to jump at things which have already proved successful.

You'd also underestimate how often entrepreneurs target particular venture capital firms just because those firms' arch-rivals backed someone else in the same space. 

Remember how Steve Jobs famously dismissed Dropbox as being "simply a feature and not a product"? The howls of protest as Dropbox's valuation soared in years past have been replaced by muted acceptance that Jobs was possibly right as Dropbox fortunes have waned. Quite simply, this is a hyper-competitive market with far too many players in it already.

And so it is with MiMedia a company that calls itself the "next generation cloud for digital content." MiMedia has closed a $15 million series C funding round that takes the total capital funding to $35 million to date. The investment came from a bevy of players, including Thorney Investment Group (Australia), Whitebarn Associates, R&R Venture Partners, as well as a strategic investment from Micromax Informatics, India’s leading smartphone manufacturer. 

So, what is MiMedia's claim to fame? Well, according to the company:

MiMedia is a service built exclusively for consumers, providing an elegant visual experience, a secure platform, easy organization and private sharing features for family and friends. It’s available on all devices (smartphones, tablets, desktop, web and smart television) and digital files can be shared from any operating system. One key feature of MiMedia is its private sharing groups called “MiDrives,” where users can share personal media among invited family and friends and add a narrative to turn visual moments into meaningful, personal and lasting stories. 

In other words, MiMedia is going after exactly the same crowd as iCloud, OneDrive, Google Drive, or even the aforementioned Dropbox.

Cloud storage is awesome. Sharing and collaborating with others over files stored in the cloud is an amazing thing. But it is 2016, and this is in no way a unique offering. I'd not be so arrogant as to suggest that these investors would have been better to store their money under their mattresses, but...

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