Innofile, a Helsinki-based startup founded in 2006, launched Innofile Courier service this week. The service allows customers to send large files easily over the internet, as opposed to using often-awkward email attachments. The service targets especially media, publishing, and engineering industries, where larger-than-email files may still be transferred physically using CDs and DVDs.
The user interface of the service looks pleasantly simple and straightforward to use. You just select the files to upload, then enter your activation code (you pay 1 euro per uploaded file package), and then get the access link to your files, which you can share with any number of recipients, or fire off email notification directly from the site. Simple, fast, and elegant.
However, large file delivery market is facing some tough international competition these days with a huge amount of players. There are many free services available, though pretty much all of them include ads in the site and/or emailed messages, what is not typically a favored feature when sending files to business partners. Ads may also make one question privacy and security. Many sites offer also ad-free and even white label services, but those are typically based on monthly subscription fee. Innofile’s pay-per-shipment model may thus lower the threshold to try their service (though the initial invoiced upfront payment is 50€), offering also a cheap alternative to subscription for infrequent usage.
I think it’s clever from Innofile to position their new service as “digital courier” – when you want to send somebody a physical delivery, you use physical courier services like UPS. So when you want to send digital content to somebody, you select the digital one… If Innofile manages to anchor this idea to people’s minds, it might just take off, at least on some scale. Though 1€/delivery is not necessarily the price point you expect these days for distributing information. But nevertheless they at least have revenue model, so it’s good to see this approach as well, as regards the scale vs. revenues question. It’s very interesting to see what kind of reception Innofile gets.
Innofile’s press release (in Finnish).