While the rest of web technology strides forwards in giant leaps, the attachment size limit on most email clients remains frustratingly low.
It’s hard to believe that in a media hotspot like Berlin, many employees will still resort to USB sticks for sharing large files.
When you use services like Gmail, Outlook or Yahoo!, sending an attachment above 25 MB tends to get more complicated – especially if its confidential content.
That’s why Berlin startup AttachingIT developed a plugin that makes it easier for employees to send secure and large files using Outlook and SharePoint.
With its email client plugins and a file transfer API for businesses, the Dutch-German company has won the support of the Microsoft Ventures Accelerator as well as its first 10,000 users. CEO and co-founder Tim Velthuis tells us about AttachingIT’s business concept and coming to terms with not being Berlin’s most sexy startup.
WM: Tell us a little bit about AttachingIT, how does it work?
Tim Velthuis: AttachingIT focusses on building convenient enterprise software and security solutions. Our first product is a fully compliant, easy to use, secure enterprise file transfer solution, which can be integrated directly in existing software platforms like Outlook, SharePoint, Exact online, SAP etc.
Our users are already familiar with the working environment and no product training is required. Employees do not have to log into external portals or go to web based environments to use our solution, there is absolutely no disruption of the existing workflow. For (large) organizations using our solution this means: a time-efficient workflow for their employees, security and full control over their data.
After integrating our software into Microsoft Outlook the user can send files of any size and any type directly from the email client. With our state of the art end-to-end encryption we make sure the files are send in a very secure way.
The AttachingIT team: Roham Rahimi, Time Velthuis and Bert Sinnema (from right to left)
Our solution is not limited to just sending large files. The end-to-end encryption is perfect for sending confidential files as well. After selecting the files the sender does not have to wait until the files are uploaded. The email is send instantly and the upload process continues on the background. This way the sender can continue his work and the recipient can track the upload process on the download page. So once again, no disruption of the workflow!
WM: Why would you say AttachingIT is a special startup? How do you stand out in the Berlin tech scene?
Velthuis: We build enterprise software so we know we are not the most “sexy“ startup in comparison with many other startups in the Berlin tech scene, but our startup is easy to understand, our products are very easy to scale and we have a clear business model. That is something a lot of other startups struggle with.
We focus on building enterprise software that is convenient in use, but still secure and compliant with the regulations of (large) organizations. There is always a convenience price to pay for security, we lower this convenience price but still maximize the security. We are not afraid to try new things while developing our software. Enterprise software often tends to be conservative and unnecessarily complex and we think with today’s technology this can be different, while still respecting the traditional enterprise culture.
WM: What stage of development are you in at the moment? How are you being funded?
Velthuis: We are completely bootstrapped. We have developed and launched our file transfer solution on one platform (Outlook) and have already paying and pilot customers, varying from law firms to accountancy firms and universities.
WM: What’s the financial concept behind AttachingIT and how do you plan on making money?
Velthuis: We have an easy and transparent pricing model which is divided in a Basic, Professional and Premium plan. Organizations pay a price per month per user. Before installing our software we make a clear calculation of the expected amount of users. Which departments are going to use our solution? How many employees do these departments have?
This way we make sure organizations do not pay for inactive user accounts and if they want they can always activate new user accounts in a later stage. For organizations with 250+ users we offer a customized pricing.
A screenshot of the AttachingIT plugin in Microsoft Outlook
WM: How did you come up with the idea for AttachingIT?
Velthuis: We started of developing a simple web based file transfer solution, where you could send files up to 10GB. This was meant for internal use only, but because the recipients had to download their file on our download page it created a viral effect. This led to over 10,000 users using our website within 6 months of launching the website.
10,000 users in the first 6 months
We needed to make drastic decisions and changes to the websites due to the instability that was created by the high amount of users. We collected all our user feedback and analyzed this, went back to the drawing board, pivoted and AttachingIT was born.
WM: And what were you doing before then?
Velthuis: There are three founders currently working on AttachingIT. Tim Velthuis (CEO), Bert Sinnema (CTO), Roham Rahimi (CMO). We all were working in different startups before starting with AttachingIT.
WM: And finally, why Berlin?
Velthuis: Simple, because we were selected as one of the nine startups that could participate in the Microsoft Accelerator Program. So we moved to Berlin in November of last year and we have become quite fond of the city and its startup ecosystem.
We definitely plan on staying here in Berlin!