Top 25 European Cloud Computing Rising Stars: Memonic

Top 25 European Cloud Computing Rising Stars: Memonic

Memonic Attacks Specific Markets with Its Cloud-based Personal Notebook

memonicZurich-based start-up Nektoon Inc. was founded in 2009 to launch a new cloud-based service called Memonic and since then managed to become a popular online service in Europe. The company competes with services like Evernote, providing customers with a personal online notebook to store text, pictures, videos or sound they found in Internet. Memonic allows users to capture essential content of any web page, store it in their personal cloud-based notebook and access their accounts anytime through different devices. Actually, Memonic is a sort of Storage as a Service with extended functionality.

The service was launched in November, 2009 by co-founders Dorian Selz, Felix Hürlimann, Patrice Neff, Christoph Hauzenberger and Toni Birrer who managed to secure USD 200,000 in seed funding for Nektoon. The Swiss-headquartered company received USD 1 million in angel investor funding in May 2010 and since then no news on new rounds of funding have been revealed. Memonic, however, won several awards in just a couple of years, including an award for innovative and promising business idea.

The online notebook offered by Memonic is available as a web-based service and is accessible in Windows, iPhone and any Smartphone. Apart from online knowledge gathering functionality, the application allows users to share the content they stored under their online accounts as well as possibility to edit collected information.

Memonic features several basic modules or functionality that should be included in any cloud-based application designed to serve as an online notebook. The first one, the web clipper allows users to select text, images or videos from web pages visited by customers. The web clipper works as a bookmarklet or browser extension while the application is automatically indexing all the content captured by the users. The capturing tool is also able to mail users’ notes to their Memonic accounts while creating new items is also possible. Thus, the content of the personal notebook is searchable, which is not an innovative functionality but is worth mentioning.

The company calls its folders, containing various items organized by users, “Sets” and these Sets can be organized by dragging and dropping an item to a list or by using special menus. In addition, an item may belong to a particular Set or a group of Sets. Memonic has a built-in text editor allowing users to edit the content of items while adding or removing images to an item.

Sharing functionality is essential part of any cloud-based application and Nektoon added such feature to their Memonic service. The application allows users to share their collected content via email, Facebook and Twitter while any item can be labeled as private or public. Private items can be shared too, using a guest password that unlocks the content of a private set of items.

Recent hacking competitions showed that iPhones, and smartphones, in general, are not the most secure devices to use for private browsing but Memonic follows the overall industry trends and made its application accessible via such devices. Memonic supports iPhone, iPad and iPod and offers data synchronization for offline browsing and reading. The application is available on the iTunes application store but we suggest to be careful what you store online using your mobile smartphone.

The Windows version of Memonic adds more functionality to the application with possibility to write notes and take screenshots. Users are allowed to extract text and pictures form various Windows applications like text and presentation editors while saving clipboard is also possible. Notes and screenshots created offline can be uploaded automatically to a user account when the application goes online.

The company offers two types of free accounts, Instant and Standard, with the latter providing additional sharing capabilities, mobile access, iPhone application, and create by email function. However, both free account types do not provide SSL encryption, which is a serious disadvantage.

An unbiased observer might ask: “Why should I use Memonic if services like Google Docs exits?”. The correct answer is that Memonic is not trying to compete with cloud services like the one offered by Google Docs and other collaborative platforms.

There are plenty of cloud-based collaborative tools around while Memonic bets on another, yet underdeveloped, niche. The growing market for cloud services and the related boom of Internet-based operating systems and devices is creating an entirely new market of cloud storage services. The growing number of Internet PCs and smartphones force their owners to seek affordable, secure and user friendly methods to store their data collected during Internet browsing sessions. Why should a user in Africa purchase an expensive laptop to browse the web if the market offers cheap web OS PCs while services like Memonic provide cloud storage space for the user’s collected valuable content. Add functions like sharing and editing and you get a good idea why services like Memonic are the likely winners in a fast paced cloud computing environment.

By Kiril Kirilov

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