Foundry Group Invests in Memeo

Today, Memeo announced that they’ve raised an $8.1m Series B round of financing, led by Foundry Group. I’ve joined the board of Memeo and am excited to be working with Hong, Steve, Chris and the rest of the Memeo team, as well as Series A investor Rudy Garza (G51) and outside director Scott Petry, with whom I had the pleasure of working with for six years at Postini, the email security company Scott founded back in 1999, which was acquired by Google for $625m last year.

Scott introduced me to CEO/founder Hong Bui several years ago when Memeo was just an idea and some powerpoint. Since then, Hong and team have made tremendous progress and built LifeAgent, an award-winning suite of digital media management software that enjoys broad distribution with the likes of Seagate, Western Digital, Buffalo Technology, D-Link and many others.

So why did we at Foundry Group get excited about investing in Memeo? Most importantly, the team at Memeo is strong and they’ve accomplished a lot with a little, which always catches our attention. Second, as most of you know, we are proud nerds at Foundry Group and we love the Memeo technology and believe that media synchronization, sharing, backup and data transformation that is driven by a device- and media-aware policy-based engine is key to managing the ever-increasing avalanche of digital media users are dealing with every day. And, finally, while there is sophisticated technology under the hood, Memeo is maniacally focused on ease-of-use and the software just works, which is the only way the average user will engage in an eat-your-vegetables and floss-your-teeth type activity like backing up files.

The once-staid data backup software market is in the midst of transformation. The increasing availability of online storage, the proliferation of devices (multi-PC households, cameras, mobile phones, iPods) and media used by the average user, the growing mountain of storage required by the average household (measuring in 100s of gigabytes today, growing to tens of terabytes over the next few years) and the increased financial and sentimental value of the data (family photos, videos, favorite movies and music, etc) has placed a strain on the capabilities of current-generation software. Furthermore, users’ understanding of the need for media protection and management has dramatically increased. I learned this this hard way and once had to spend thousands of dollars to recover thousands of photos from a crashed hard drive.

Next-generation software to address these needs must expand the traditionally narrow definition of backup software (simply a regularly scheduled transfer of files to another hard drive) to include real-time, continuous backup to and from multiple devices, support for online storage, data transformation, data synchronization and sharing among multiple users. At the same time, successful entrants into this market will have to hide this drastic increase in complexity from the end-user with software that works “automagically” to enable the average user to cope with the demands of digital media management.

Needless to say, we believe Memeo is at the forefront of new tools which recognize that previously disparate technologies such as backup, sharing and synchronization are really just different facets of the same thing: digital media management. Hong founded Memeo with a vision to build tools to enable users to simplify their digital lives, and they are on their way to fulfilling that vision. We are excited to be joining Memeo on that journey.