French startup Smash is taking the file transfer fight right up to giants such as WeTransfer. But they have a few tricks up their sleeves to become a valid competitor.
The need for file transfer
Who has managed to make it through digital life without the nagging “this attachment is too big” alert when sending an email? Chances are, not many.
Computers are more powerful, so are the apps. The size of the files follows the same trend. How many of today’s pictures could you fit into a floppy disk? None.
Because we can’t attach very big files to emails, the need for a simple, secure and reliable system is blatant.
Who needs it most?
Obviously, big companies need to send files all the time but smaller entities in the creative field need it too. Graphic designers, photographers, filmmakers, these people send big files all the time.
But what don’t they have time for, especially if they’re independent workers?
They have no time to promote their work, some of them even have to pay for a Community Management services to be present on social networks.
And what if you could promote your work while transferring your files?
A family business
Romaric Gouedard-Comte, then working for Havas Digital, was unhappy with the existing solutions. Dropbox was too slow, WeTransfer ridden with commercials and not quite making par with digital sovereignty.
He founded Smash in 2016 with his brother and father and the startup is currently hosted by VillagebyCA in Lyon after having been accelerated. 120,000 users have adopted the platform in 160 countries.
Addressing all the issues
Smash is an extremely simple web app, available for free. No size limit, no commercials. The file can be previewed prior to download. No signing up. So what is the business model of a commercial-free service?
By offering a clever extra service for those willing to go for a plan.
Smash offers a premium branded service. Premium users can take advantage of the downloading time to showcase their work. It can be photos, designs, videos, tutorials… even CTAs (Call to Action).
With every file shared, the creator gains exposure.
When used within a bigger company, this downloading time is an opportunity for internal communication.
What’s in store?
The solution has already drawn major companies such as Universal Music or digital agencies. Several French cities, including Paris, have chosen Smash for transferring their files.
The team has many updates in mind and one of them is making sure that transferred files use servers located in the same country as the sender. The confidentiality of transfers is undermined by laws such as the Patriot Act. European users, transferring sensitive material (patent projects, marketing strategy etc…) can’t be sure their files are safe if transiting through US servers.
Development is underway to add protection to the transfers and trace downloads possibly through blockchain.
The team of five is likely to grow further as Smash enters a new stage of development.
The Smash team has launched a fundraising through the crowdfunding platform SoWeFund. It’s on as we speak so it’s possible to get a part of the action and transform file transfers into communication opportunities.