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I drive


i-drive (name derived from internet drive) was an online data storage service that was founded in December 1997 by Jeff Bonforte with seed investors and launched its first product, a pioneering online file storage service in August 1999. The idea originated from an early company Jeff Bonforte co-founded in 1996 called ShellServer. net, which provided 10 MBs of space for IRC users. Jeff Bonforte compiled the founding team, which included Chris Lindland, Patrick Fenton, Tim Craycroft, Rich MacAlmon, John Reddig and Lou Perrelli (the last three were also the company's first angel investors). Originally presented as i-drive. com, the company acquired the domain idrive. com in the fall of 1999. The initial product offered a limited amount of free file storage space, and later enhanced the offering with 'sideloading' storing files such as MP3s collected on the Web without the need for the user to download them to their individual computer. In 2000, the company began offering unlimited storage space. In 2001 the company transitioned from offering the free storage service and transformed the underlying software architecture into a middleware storage mechanism and product, seeking to sell into various markets including the 3G marketplace, targeting companies such as DoCoMo and Earthlink. i-drive's assets were acquired by the EMC Corporation in 2002. Certain assets were also acquired by Pro Softnet Corp which also offers services in the field of online storage. At its height, i-drive hosted over 10 million registered users, employed 110 people, and held partnerships with MP3. com, ZDnet. com, and 40 major universities. The service was rated as a Top 5 Web Application by CNET in 2000 and one of the 3 Top Technologies to Watch by Fortune Magazine in 2000. The company raised over US$30 million from venture capitalists such as Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Infinity Ventures, Global Retail Partners, Hikari (JP), Philips (NL), EMC, and Partners Group (CH).


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