Tampa, FL-based KiteDesk, a platform that aggregates all of a user’s cloud-based services, launched out of beta today, and debuted its new iPhone app. BetaKit covered the startup earlier last year when it was still in beta, and highlighted the company’s ambition to add context to the plethora of information individuals access via multiple networks and cloud-based services, both personally and professionally.
Founded in 2011 by Jared Rodriguez and Jack Kennedy, who had two prior startups, KiteDesk aims to be an individual’s launchpad to all of their online activity. “We looked at the services that people use today, and it occurred to us that in many cases the fundamental concepts from those services are all the same,” said Kennedy in an interview with BetaKit. “Whether it’s messaging, or if you think about social networks, cloud-based storage, email, historic communication systems, and even on the enterprise side, the SaaS-based apps people are using now…a lot of those applications repeat the same fundamental concept; people, files, messaging, events, or what we call ‘streams.’”
KiteDesk links together Dropbox, Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Yahoo accounts to create unified or integrated streams into categories like messages, people, events, and files, and social network updates, both online and now through the iPhone app. The messaging stream enables users to access email from multiple accounts as well as their social accounts, while through the people stream, users can expect a complete address book from all their online activity, with the ability to quickly distill recent interactions and filter based on frequency of contact. The files stream enables access to files stored across cloud-storage services and the ability to drag and drop them from one to another.
Currently the startup is focused primarily on user acquisition, so the platform remains free to access, with the startup planning to add premium features for subscription pricing. However, Kennedy shared that the company foresees the bulk of its revenue coming from an enterprise version it plans to launch later this year, where KiteDesk plans to capitalize on the growing the trend of individual employees being drivers of cloud-based services at work, and companies increasingly having to deal with the “bring your own device” (BYOD) trend.
BetaKit has covered the growing trend of startups aggregating people’s lives in the cloud and mentioned other services like Jolicloud, hojoki, CloudMagic, and Primadesk before, and there are still others like Engagio, recently acquired by Influitive, who have attempted to tackle more niche pieces of the puzzle. Kennedy believes the breadth of integrations is a key differentiator for KiteDesk, in addition to allowing users to build contextual streams of content from across their online activity. However, as the race continues with each platform looking to add more integration partners, companies will have to differentiate primarily on interface and workflow.
“We think that we’ve gone broad, integrating all the services that we have and the types of information that we have, and then linking them together,” Kennedy added. “Really our second big differentiator are these streams of information, both automatically generated and the streams you create on your own, with the ability to filter and organize is really important.”
Up next for the startup, KiteDesk is looking to roll out LinkedIn integration and an update to its new iOS app, which it will be looking to push out over the next few weeks. However, the big focus according to Kennedy will be developing KiteDesk for enterprise use. KiteDesk will have a number of competing services to compete with, so KiteDesk will have to expand quickly in order to be the one service that rules the cloud.