It’s a problem that most, if not all, mobile consumers have come across at some time or other: how to switch data from an old to a new device. In the past transferring from one system to another has simply been impossible. In the past that meant hours and hours infuriatingly spent moving content from one place to another. Now, there is software that can do the job for you. And, as Finnish firm Piceasoft is showing, it has implications across the consumer to enterprise spectrum.
The pain point Piceasoft is targeting, in a nutshell, is this: 1.8 billion new mobile devices sold annually, with the amount of personal content getting bigger. Consumers do not want to leave personal content behind when they move to a different ecosystem, for example iOS to Android. Existing solutions are, claims Piceasoft, “too clumsy and slow”. It has found that consumers will pay $6.50 to $20 for a working content transfer device.
With that information, the company built PiceaSwitch, a software tool that enables the transfer of all personal content between two mobile devices and cloud. The solution also includes support for backup to USB memory stick or cloud. Consumers can drag and drop videos, music, or images directly from the web to a device, while for operators PiceaSwitch can safely switch all contacts from one device to another, incentivizing switches and upgrades.
CTO and co-founder Jyri Roselius claims that no-one is tackling the market like Piceasoft. “Our competitors do not have cross platform software solution, they are selling hardware tools,” he says. “We have many competitive edges because of software product. Maintenance and upfront investments are lower with software than when buying a lot of hardware boxes.”
“Cellebrite has been the market leader and is in practice the only competitor in many cases,” adds Roselius, who has a long history in mobile solutions. “There are many phone sellers who do not have any solution in use. There is some competition, but there is room for new companies with good and easy-to-use products. Also, the market for phone content transferring tools is just to become big.”
Piceasoft founded in October 2012, in Tampere, Finland. It currently has 15 employees. In February, this year, it joined the Tizen Association Partner Program, an “industry consortium that supports the development of an open-source software platform and operating system” worldwide. PiceaSwitch piloted in 20-plus locations worldwide, and, according to the company, the results were good. Revenue has already grown to over $1.5 million, with next year expected to reap around $3.4 million.
Now the firm is looking for an investment to expand abroad and speed up its growth, after initial fundraising has left it with around 300 shareholders – albeit with 80% of that value tied up in its four founders. As Roselius says, Piceasoft can reasonably call itself a crowdfunding success: “Funding was arranged with co-operation with a Finnish company called Vauraus. We sold company shares to normal people. We raised over $1.96 million. After we started co-operation with Vauraus, it was quite a straightforward process. But, it needed also quite a lot of work.”
This year, with its Tizen partnership and a Red Herring gong, Piceasoft is targeting further growth in the EMEA region, where Roselius claims it already has a major market share in several nations. Still, there is room for improvement. “We’re targeting market leadership in one or two countries,” he says. In under two years, Piceasoft has risen at a fast pace. Roselius and co. will be hoping that pace translates to revenue just as quickly.