Last beta progress update before stable
We have very good news with regards to our beta progress. After over a year of development, we are now about to release X Cloud’s and X Core’s stable builds. As you can see here, you can now keep track of our live development progress. We are currently implementing our paid plans in X Cloud, and polishing the UI of X Cloud so that is ready for the commercial release. Our network is almost stable already, so stay tuned for our commercial release. During the next few weeks we will be releasing a series of very significant upgrades in all our ecosystem. Additionally, we’ve made a few corrections prior to our release, to make sure some of the decisions we made for our beta do not harm us during our stable release.
First of all, we have decided to slightly change our pricing to make sure that it does not negatively affect us. Right now, our pricing is very similar, or in some cases even cheaper than that of Google One (new version of Google Drive), Apple iCloud, Microsoft OneDrive etc. Just like with Gmail, Google One was not built to be Google’s main financially sustainable business. With Google One, you currently get a bunch of unsustainably free or cheap storage space. Google is an advertising company, so they use all these free services to gather data from you in order to sell it afterwards. Google One is already integrated in all Google devices (same with Apple, OneDrive etc). So, realistically, the average user would not be switching to X Cloud because of its superior security to Google One and similar pricing / ease of use, since the average user does not upload anything confidential enough to the cloud to compensate the switching costs. There is no enough incentive for the average user to use X Cloud, even with a very likely unsustainable pricing structure. The same goes when competing for the average user with companies like Apple or Microsoft.
So, at the end of the day, we would only be targeting the same kind of users as services like Tresorit (a secure cloud storage company that, unlike the other three, does live out of cloud storage, thus needs it to be financially sustainable), but with an unsustainable, bargain pricing that would rather harm us in the long run. So, all in all, we decided that it would be smart to increase our pricing so that we can be financially sustainable, and thus directly compete with the pricing of Tresorit (which has nothing to do with the pricing of Google & co). We are targeting the same market as Tresorit, not that of Google, Apple or Microsoft. Trying to target the same market as Google would not only increase our marketing costs and reduce our revenues due to lower pricing, but would also be incredibly ineffective given the low conversion rate from Google & co users to X Cloud. Thus, this new pricing structure we’ve designed, has been created in order to maximise the revenues and number of X Cloud users, in a financially sustainable manner.
With the previous model, our future would have been very dark, and we would have had to increase our pricing a few months after releasing our commercial product. We cannot offer a higher quality service, at the price of a not-thought-to-be-profitable, inferior service. It really is that simple. If we ever have the ability to lower our pricing in a way that we believe would benefit Internxt, do not doubt we’ll do it.
For our imminent stable release, our free plan will come with 1GB of storage space. Our next available plan will offer 100GB of storage space, and will cost €4,49 per month. Our 1TB plan will cost €9,95 per month. Soon after the stable launch, we will also release a second pricing structure for plans that give multiple users access to a same X Cloud account (thought to be used by startups and corporations). We also expect to release a third pricing model, similar to that of Amazon Web Services S3, where the user will be able to automatically upload files to the cloud via our API instead of via our apps. The pricing here will work slightly different, and will be based on monthly uploaded / downloaded data. That’s a completely different kind of fish, in this case, not thought to compete with Tresorit, but with Amazon S3, Sia and Storj.
Finally, as many of you had been requesting during our beta, we also decided to ditch Civic. Civic significantly increased the sign up friction for our service, since it was still not widely adopted. We do not yet have the power to require people to sign up with Civic and push their service towards wide adoption. We already have enough work to do in order to push X Cloud for wide adoption. Although we believe Civic to be a great idea, we believe that right now, it would also harm us more than it would benefit us. Most our users complained about Civic (about having to download the app to use X Cloud, how hard it was each time they had to enter X Cloud, etc). Since we already implement file distribution and the strongest possible kind of encryption (stronger than how Tresorit implemented it) as you can read here, Civic did not really add any extra value to our product in terms of additional security. Other than it being a cool idea, until it is becomes used (hopefully), we will not be making use of it.
This decision also came motivated by the fact that Civic started asking us to pay them per sign up (since they had to verify the user identity), thus implementing Civic during our commercial release would not only make us significantly decrease our conversion rate -from visitor to customer, but would also very significantly financially harm us. We believe this not to be a very smart move from Civic’s end, since it will hinder their road to becoming widely used. If the first companies using Civic not only need to push it for wide adoption, but also need to pay for the verifications of users that later companies adopting Civic will not have to pay for, it will be incredibly hard for Civic to become widely used. From now on, Internxt will have its own sign up / login method.
All in all, we believe all these tweaks will help us provide a better and more widely used X Cloud. Stay tuned for our imminent commercial release! We’re polishing everything as you read this.