He may still be unpacking boxes from his recent move from South Carolina, but Sameer Kamat came to San Antonio ready to continue growing Filestack into an industry-leading company. The new CEO started Aug. 14 at an important time for the rapidly growing technology startup.
Filestack on Wednesday released Intelligent Ingestion, a technology that promises to optimize mobile file uploading regardless of file size, user device, or network connection. Kamat intends to make Filestack not only the best file uploader in the world, but also the de facto standard for file processing and management within software applications.
Filestack is a file hosting and management service for software developers. As a developer service, Filestack offers an application program interface (API) for businesses to integrate their software on Filestack’s platform. Software developers can integrate more than 25 of the world’s leading social networks and cloud drives with just a few lines of code so end users can upload content easily from websites and mobile apps like Facebook, Instagram, Dropbox, or wherever that content is stored.
The Intelligent Ingestion technology incorporated into the flagship Filestack software was designed to eliminate one of the biggest headaches for mobile users – file uploading failures.
“It’s solving a big problem for our customers,” Kamat said. “Data are absolutely exploding and most of that is user-generated content like images, audio, video, and files. When mobile connectivity is not great, it impacts on the experience for the mobile user.”
Between 2017 and 2020, the amount of digital data will about double every two years. The other big trend is the increase in mobile users accessing content. By 2020, almost three quarters of the world’s population, or 5.7 billion, will subscribe to mobile cellphone service, with smartphones making up more than 50% of all global devices and connections and at least 75% of mobile traffic linking to video, emphasizing the importance of content that can be easily accessed and uploaded on a mobile device.
The explosion of content coupled with the increase in mobile broadband users means being connected on a 24/7 basis will become the norm by 2020, according to the Strategy& report on implications for the global population by 2020.
Uploading files under less-than-optimal conditions, say, during a crowded public event or while traveling, can result in an unsuccessful file transfer. The Intelligent Ingestion software is able to diagnose the environment in which the user is trying to upload files and detect the network conditions for uploading, the company said. It is designed to spot potential problems for file uploading if there is an issue – network congestion, for example – and optimize conditions for a successful upload.
“Our software understands these conditions for the user and ensures that the file is optimized for the best possible uploading experience,” Kamat said. “We’re experts in the transformation and delivery of those files worldwide already. But mobile users still have a problem uploading files, so we tailor how we send that file as the network condition changes.”
Four Massachusetts Institute of Technology students founded the startup 2012, then called Filepicker. The company came to San Antonio less than two years ago and was first sold to a private equity group in San Francisco, then sold again in 2016 to a San Antonio venture equity firm, Scaleworks.
Pat Matthews, a former Rackspace vice president, became CEO in early 2016, but left Filestack earlier this year to establish his own venture capital firm.
While Filestack has some competitors, such as Uploadcare, Cloudinary, and Imgix, Kamat aims to take advantage of Filestack’s early leadership in the file uploading category to create an end-to-end solution for user-generated content. Kamat sees file uploading or ingestion as only the first step to managing user-generated content on a large scale. After the content is uploaded to the application, it needs to be stored, processed, and delivered to the end user. Under Kamat’s leadership, Filestack has been ramping up its asset management capabilities to handle entire content workflows.
Kamat has a strong background in product management and engineering and was vice president of product management at Unitrends, a Massachusetts-based company specializing in file backup and business continuity. Kamat worked for Unitrends in the Columbia, S.C. area.
More than 75,000 developers use Filestack in more than 100,000 applications, including clients such as Coca-Cola, Sendgrid, and JibJab. Filestack’s customer base has already uploaded close to 9 million files to its platform.
“We are growing, and our customers are growing, too,” Filestack Chairman of the Board Lew Moorman said. “As we see more files being uploaded and delivered daily, end users demand higher performance, and we strive to stay one step ahead at all times.”
The Filestack team has doubled in size to 30 people across two offices in San Antonio and Krakow, Poland, and continues to expand, Kamat said. The company is moving into the Savoy building on 116 E. Houston St. sometime in September, Kamat said.
“We’re always looking for exceptional talent,” he added.