endoidQuick Pitch: Sendoid allows for instant and private large file transfer in the browser.
Genius Idea: Peer-to-peer file transfer.
With the sudden rise of Chatroulette, the world was exposed, for better or for worse, to the peer-to-peer possibilities of real time media flow protocol (RTMFP) technology — the technology that establishes a direct connection between two individuals.
Sendoid, a Y Combinator startup, is applying the same peer-to-peer technology to a far less visually arresting purpose: file transfer. The peer-to-peer system, which forgoes cloud or server storage entirely, lets users transfer gigantic files in the browser in seconds and at no cost.
Veteran file-transfer service YouSendIt charges the user $14 to move a 100 MB file, with the transfer taking about 24 minutes, as Sendoid co-founder John Egan said during the startup’s Demo Days presentation. The same file is transferred in 35 seconds free of charge via Sendoid.
With this in-browser transfer experience, the user selects a file and gets a link to share with the recipient. Upon receipt of the peer link, the recipient is securely connected to the sender’s machine, and the file is transferred directly from the sender to the receiver without passing through Sendoid’s servers. It’s this peer-to-peer exchange that makes Sendoid so fast.
Sendoid’s browser-based file transfer service maxes out for files around 1 GB, but the startup also offers a desktop application for transferring files of unlimited size. There’s no cost for either option, and Sendoid has no plans to introduce fees based on file size or transfer frequency. “It shouldn’t cost money to send a 1 GB file,” says Egan. “It just doesn’t make sense anymore. The technology has caught up.”
The file transfer experience heretofore has been clunky, client-based, slow and expensive for end users. Plus, Sendoid believes the demand for sending larger files, especially in the form of high resolution digital photographs, is growing. For these reasons, Egan and fellow co-founder Zac Morris believe the startup is launching at just the right time.
“The technology is here now to move large amounts of data inexpensively,” says Egan. “And this is about the moment in time when file sizes for consumers are crossing the threshold [in size] and are no longer able to be transferred through traditional means.”
Sendoid has moved roughly 250,000 files — an early sign that Egan’s predictions about changing consumer behaviors are fairly accurate.
The just-launched startup is currently operating on seed funding from the accelerator program, but it’s currently in talks with several interested investors and will likely raise a substantial round in the weeks ahead. Eventually, Sendoid will introduce for-charge premium features that provide additional security or support file grouping.
Image courtesy of iS