Most startups we cover raise only a minor amount before launch, needing to demonstrate potential to prospective investors. Every so often, however, we find companies that present a concept so appealing that investors are willing to throw a solid chunk of cash at them, even without having unveiled a product. Based out of Paris and New York, FileChat belongs to the latter group. But first, the service.
FileChat aims to put their own spin on the recent phenomenon of cloud-based collaboration. That is, their platform functions by allowing users to hook up their Google Drive or Dropbox accounts (more to come) and begin to collaborate on projects within the app through the messaging tool. Users start by creating a folder and then importing documents from their preferred service (or their computer) and then adding guests for that particular project (and removing them as necessary).
One of the main features is the messaging tool. Those who have used messaging clients (whether Google Hangouts, Facebook chat, or some other) will be pretty familiar with how it works. As with other messaging clients, FileChat users have the option of indicating whether they are available or busy or even to go “invisible”. One of the nice features of this chat client, though, is that it allows users to go back and search past conversations.
The platform, also available for Android and iOS, is completely free at the moment, but CEO Alberto Escarlate tells me that they planning to operate on a freemium model by introducing a paid tier with unlimited chat rooms and other features. They have not yet settled on pricing for the paid level, however.
Although FileChat only publicly unveiled their platform three weeks ago, the company, founded in 2013, has already secured $3 million in funding from undisclosed private investors. Although founded in France, the company is targeting the American market to start. As they have only recently launched, they are hesitant to reveal their total number of users at the moment.