“Skype of cloud storage” Symform nets $11M in funding

Symform, a company that brings peer-to-peer technology to bear on the cloud storage problem, netted a possible $11 million in a new Series B investment round led by WestRiver Capital and including OVP and Longworth Venture Partners — all previous investors with the Seattle-based company. Erik Anderson of WestRiver Capital joins the Symform Board of Directors.

The company actually logged $8 million in new funding for this round, but that could grow another $3 million, if it adds another business as a strategic investor.

The cloud storage market continues to percolate — and the entry of Google Drive this week should keep things lively for a while. Symform’s cloud is different in that the company aggregates unused storage from third parties that contribute storage space in return for free or flat-fee cloud storage. As GigaOM previously reported, users can get up to 200 GB of free storage if they register, contribute disk space or refer others to Symform’s service. The use of that peer-to-peer model is what prompts the Skype analogy. Symform’s  service targets small business and the value-added resellers or VARs and managed service providers (MSPs) that support them.

The new money which brings total funding to $20 million. Symform plans to use the money build its global reach and capacity and to make its technology more easily linkable to on-premises storage devices and other IT solutions. It closed

As of now, the company claims users in 138 countries, up from 46 at the end of last year and said customer accounts more than doubled quarter over quarter.

Symform also launched an advisory board that includes  Jon Gacek, CEO of Quantum; Dimitris Achiloptas, Professor of Computer Science at the University of California Santa Cruz; and Grant Peterson, CTO and Vice President of Engineering at DocuSign.

Peer-to-peer cloud storage is not totally new. A few years ago, Wuala, a Zurich-based startup helped pioneer this sort of  technology. LaCie bought Wuala in 2009.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user redjar