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May 23, 2008
BR: Please give us some background information about your company, such as how it was founded, how long you have been around, where your headquarters are, and how many branch offices you have etc. Is your customer base mainly in US or do you have substantial international presence as well?
JN: Diino was founded in 2004 and was a development company until Q3 2006. At that point Diino version 4.0 was released and was the start of our journey. The company has its HQ in Stockholm, Sweden, with sales offices in France, Spain, Mexico and US. It’s VC backed by Novestra, a Swedish investment company listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange, and also by Swisscom, a leading European Telco. Our service has grown to become very popular in Latin America, through our partnership with Telmex, and also in many parts of Europe. In total Diino currently has more than 1.2 million active users.
BR: How many employees do you have and how big is your R&D department? What are your best selling products and services and why are they selling so well?
JN: Diino has more than 30 employees, with about 12 employees in the R&D department. We offer a free residential service that has gained worldwide recognition because it appeals not only to the functional needs of our users but also their emotional needs. Diino has become the central aggregation point for our customers experiences and memories. In addition we offer a service targeted to SMEs to provide a cost efficient and secure service for remote back up. The main reason we have succeeded is firstly that we have been able to close large partnerships with operators, hardware providers and retailers and secondly that customers can easily find our service online.
BR: What makes your company and its services different from others?
JN: Diino has adopted the strategy of having global reach via the internet with establishing sales operations locally. This has enabled us to not only acquire customers worldwide but to also focus resources in developing partners and ultimately serving their customers in better way. Many companies in our industry are based out of one country. In addition we have localized our service in terms of language support and we currently have translated the service into Swedish, English, French, Spanish, Romanian and Polish. German and Italian are also about to be launched.
Another key factor that differentiates Diino is our ownership structure. Via the introduction of Swisscom we have an industrial owner focused on not only providing a service that is built to lead in the market, but also having a company that is built to last. Many competitors that were considered market leading a year ago have no ceased to exist. This risk must be minimized as our users are storing their private or corporate information with Diino and as such it must always be available to them.
BR: One of the biggest concerns of online backup users is data security and privacy. How have you addressed these issues?
JN: When talking to customers security is always the issue that is raised. All providers of on line back up services must be able to guarantee the confidentiality and integrity of the data. At Diino we do this in different ways, firstly by securely encrypting the data transfers using a 2048 bit encryption key and secondly by having different data centers thereby providing redundancy.
BR: What kind of growth rate have you been experiencing?
JN: A year ago the service had about 100 000 users. In May 2008 we are approaching 1.3 million. The growth speaks for itself and I believe the main reason for our growth has been that we perform regular customer satisfaction surveys that we leverage both from a tactical and strategic perspective to develop the service to be considered world class.
BR: Whom do you consider your main competitors?
JN: We face local competition in different markets. From a global perspective Carbonite and Mozy should be mentioned. Of interest to note is that Diino has a broader feature set than most companies in the market which has been a key differentiating factor for us.
BR: Large companies such as Microsoft and major telco’s have started offering online backup business. Do you fear them? How do you plan to compete against such formidable adversaries?
JN: Large companies have entered the market (HP & Microsoft) and one must always be aware of the fact that they have huge customer date bases to which they can cross sell this service. However what is evident is that this is not their core business and as such we believe that by working in focused and visionary way with our service we are well positioned to compete. In addition to this we do not see Telcos as competitors but rather as partners.
BR: There has been quite a bit of M&A activity in the industry lately (such as XDrive being acquired by AOL, Microsoft acquiring Foldershare and LiveVault by Iron Mountain, and Evault by Seagate). What is your strategy? (being acquired, IPO, etc…)
JN: Our goal is to build a very profitable company that will allow us cement our position in the market even further. Important to note is that the on line back up industry is still relatively immature which creates opportunities for strategic ventures.
BR: Are there any new products/services you are developing that will soon be available?
JN: A new version of the service will be released after the summer that is OS independent and that will have many new features. These are very exciting times in our R&D department and the company as a whole and we can’t wait to take them to the market.
BR: What is your annual revenue?
JN: As a private company, we do not disclose our revenue numbers.
BR: Which companies are your main sales partners globally?
JN: When it comes to ISPs I would say Telmex (Mexico) and Swisscom (Switzerland). We are also working with some of the largest retailers in Latin America, Scandinavia and are working to close large partnerships in the US at the moment.
BR: Can you tell us about your servers? Where they are located, how many backups you perform, if server room is controlled for humidity, temperature and what kind of backup generation system you use?
JN: We use market leading brands such as HP and IBM. We also ensure your data is secure from loss with redundant drives and daily backups. Your valuable information is stored in a highly secure facility with 24-hour surveillance, EMP-security, fire protection, emergency power backup systems, climate control and state-of-the-art access controls. The data centers are located in Sweden.
BR: Any other news about your company you care to share?
JN: I strongly believe we will start to take market share in the US in the next 6 months through three large partnerships that I cannot disclose at this point.
Jan Nilsson is the CEO of Diino Online Backup
Tags: CEO Interviews