Popular Open Source File Sharing Project Creates Commercial Entity and Taps Former SUSE Exec as CEO and CTO

Posted by ownCloud GmbH – 13. December 2011

ownCloud combines consumer ease-of-use with enterprise security

Boston, MA – December 14, 2011 – Joining the red hot market for secure, manageable and easily accessible and sharable storage, ownCloud, the popular open source file-sharing project, announced that it has formed a commercial entity founded by former SUSE/Novell executive Markus Rex – who will join the company as CEO and CTO, effective immediately, and Frank Karlitschek, founder of the ownCloud project.

The company, already a popular open source project with more than 350,000 users, also announced a funding round lead by Boston-based General Catalyst and the opening of a US headquarters in Boston. Terms of the funding were not disclosed.

ownCloud offers the ease-of-use and cost effectiveness of Dropbox and box.net with a more secure, better managed offering that – because it’s open source — offers greater flexibility and no vendor lock in – perfect for business use. ownCloud users can run file sync and share services on their own hardware and storage or use popular public hosting and storage offerings.

“With the explosion of unstructured data in the enterprise and increasingly mobile (and unsecure) ways to access it, many companies have been forced to lock down their data – sometimes forcing employees to find less than secure means of access, or, if security is too restrictive, risk having all that unavailable,” said John Simon, Managing Director at General Catalyst. “When we saw the ease-of-use, security and flexibility of ownCloud, we were sold.”

“In a cloud-oriented world, ownCloud is the only tool based on a ubiquitous open source platform,” said Markus Rex, CEO and Founder, ownCloud. “This differentiator enables businesses complete, transparent, compliant control over their data and data storage costs, while also allowing employees simple and easy data access from anywhere.”
ownCloud enables universal access to files through a web interface or WebDAV. It also provides a platform to easily view & sync contacts, calendars and bookmarks across all devices and enables basic editing right on the web. Installation has minimal server requirements, doesn’t need special permissions and is quick. ownCloud is extendable via a simple, but powerful API for applications. Product and Services offerings will be announced in the first quarter of 2012.

Rex was former senior vice president and general manager in charge of SUSE Linux at Novell. He also served as CTO of the Linux Foundation, CTO for Linux at Novell and was SUSE’s first vice president of Engineering. Karlitschek leads development and the ownCloud Open Source Project and Community.

About General Catalyst Partners
General Catalyst Partners is a venture capital firm that invests in exceptional entrepreneurs who are building the technology-based companies that will lead innovation and transform industries. Founded in 2000, General Catalyst Partners leverages its principals’ extensive operational, business development and technological expertise to provide portfolio companies with a catalyst for success through business-building and partnership development assistance. General Catalyst has offices in Cambridge, MA and Palo Alto, CA. For more information, please visit: http://www.generalcatalyst.com.

About ownCloud
Based on the popular ownCloud open source community project, ownCloud was founded in 2011 to bring greater flexibility, access and security of unstructured data to enterprises. Company headquarters are in Boston, with an additional development location in Germany. http://www.owncloud.com

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