Filebase raises $2m to raise decentralised storage game

Filebase has gained $2m seed funding for its geo-replicated object storage cloud that has edge caching and is up to 90 per cent lower cost than equivalent mainstream public cloud archives.

Filebase uses decentralised peer-to-peer network technology which traditionally means slow performance and can entail non-standard interfaces. Filebase’s caching and use of the S3 interface sidesteps these concerns and makes its network of interest to business developers needing highly reliable and long-term storage for archiving and disaster recovery.

Founded in 2019, the company offers a 5GB free tier to all users, with no expiration or trials. A subscription costs $5.99 per month and includes 1 TB of storage and 1 TB of transfer. Additional storage cost $0.0059/GB and $0.0059/GB for additional outbound transfers. There is no charge for writing data (ingress).

Zac Cohen, co-founder of Filebase, said: “Disaster recovery is now dead simple, thanks to the native geo-replication that’s offered by decentralised networks. Enterprises and IT professionals no longer need to worry about planning for a costly and complex DR strategy.”

Filebase supplies the object storage software technology and maintains a cluster of application servers connected to various third-party decentralised networks, such as the Sia, Skynet and Storj networks, to provide the geo-replicated capacity. It plans to add the Filecoin and Arweave networks by the end of the year. All these networks have erasure coding and use Blockchain for data integrity. Filebase provides an on-ramp to them that abstracts away their proprietary features, including crypto-currency billing.

Joshua Noble, Filebase CEO and co-founder, said the company has built a “performant access layer to decentralised storage networks, which are among the most distributed and secure networks in the world, with a familiar S3-compatible interface that developers know and generally love.”

Users access Filebase through a browser-based dashboard and use an S3-compatible API to write and read data. All interactions with the underlying networks are abstracted, and there are turnkey configurations to ease operations. Filebase guarantees that objects are stored with a 3x replication factor across thousands of server nodes across the globe which are in the underlying decentralised networks.

This decentralisation adds to read and write latency as object data has to be recovered from myriad servers which can be hundreds if not thousands of miles distant. Filebase has developed edge caching technology to increase throughput and lower read and write response times. If a recently or frequently accessed object is downloaded from its service, there is a high probability that this object will be cached in the edge layer. If data is cached then users don’t pay for any outbound data bandwidth and the time to the first byte can be less than 100ms. 

It claims this makes it possible to build applications and user experiences on decentralised networks that are indistinguishable from applications built on Amazon S3, rendering them a viable alternative to centralised networks, like AWS, for the first time.

Filebase says basic public-cloud storage is affordable, but geographically-redundant cloud storage is a different matter. One storage bucket on Filebase is equivalent to 3 regionally-distributed buckets in AWS. If you want to store 1 TB of data in 3 regions with Amazon, it’s going to cost nearly $200 per month. The same level of service and redundancy can be achieved on Filebase for $5.99 per month.