LucidLink secures $75M to boost remote collaboration

Remote large file collaboration startup LucidLink has raised $75 million to engineer software for distributed creative professionals to work faster together.

Update. CTERA CTO comments added; 27 November 2023.

LucidLink’s FileSpaces product has file sections streamed directly from a central cloud repository rather than being synchronized and shared between remote worker locations. This sync ‘n’ share approach is how it characterizes the services offered by CTERA, Egnyte, Nasuni, and Panzura. LucidLink says its software provides fast access to large files used by customers such as Adobe, A&E Networks, Whirlpool, Shopify, Buzzfeed, Spotify, various Hollywood studios, major broadcasters, digital ad agencies, architectural firms, and gaming companies.

Peter Thompson, LucidLink
Peter Thompson

Peter Thompson, LucidLink co-founder and CEO, said: “Legacy collaboration and storage solutions are not designed for this new hybrid workplace reality, and LucidLink is becoming the go-to solution for companies looking to future-proof their businesses. Our customers are reaching 5x in productivity gains on previously impossible workflows, and we are excited to see how they continue to unlock new possibilities as we help to accelerate the future of collaborative work.”

LucidLink was founded in 2016 and the latest C-round funding follows a $20 million B-round last year, taking the total raised to about $115 million. The round was led by growth stage investor Brighton Park Capital. Several existing investors – including Headline, Baseline Ventures, and Adobe Ventures – also participated. The new capital will be put into product and engineering development, customer acquisition efforts, and expansion into new verticals and geographies.

Co-founder and CTO George Dochev said: “With this Series C investment, LucidLink will accelerate its most ambitious product updates in the Company’s history to expand our technology leadership position, open up new customer use cases, and create more personalized product experiences that enable creative professionals to work more efficiently and effectively.”

The startup has grown its annual recurring revenue (ARR) by nearly 5x and the number of users on its platform by more than 4x in the past two years. LucidLink says that, for creative industries that work with complex files and applications, real-time collaboration across a hybrid and remote employee base has become a major concern. It cites as an example that three-quarters of creative collaboration now happens remotely, with the average creative review process taking eight days and more than three versions to receive sign-off, according to a Filestage report.

LucidLink says that IDC predicts that investment in cloud infrastructure and services will grow to $1.2 trillion by 2027 as the need for businesses to prepare for a hybrid workforce grows more urgent.

It is uncertain at what point file collaboration services like CTERA, Egnyte, Nasuni, and Panzura no longer meet customer needs and where LucidLink’s technology becomes the more suitable option. All LucidLink says is that its creative professional customers get faster access to large files, but what does “faster” and “large” mean?

GigaOm analysts said in September 2021: “LucidLink focuses on globally, instantly accessible data with one particularity – data is streamed as it is read. Streaming makes the solution especially well suited for industries and use cases that rely on remote access to massive, multi-terabyte files, such as the media and entertainment industry. LucidLink’s capabilities in this area are unmatched.”

A blogpost by Thompson and Dochev discusses the new funding and what it means.


CTERA CTO Aron Brand suggests LucidLink is incorrect in its claim to be the only player in the market to have this streaming support technology. “CTERA’s streaming technology, especially the dedicated integrations with the Adobe suite including CTERA for Adobe Premiere, Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign,” he says, “has been a game-changer for its clients.” There are video demonstrations here.

Brand tells us some of CTERA’s largest clients, such as WPP and Publicis, benefit from CTERA’s offerings. Its edge filers, providing more than just an agent-based solution (which is what CTERA believes LucidLink offers), offer features such as up to 256TB of fast local cache, useful for 8K video production, and “enabling professional level of operation that is simply impossible with agent-based solutions.” For WPP, CTERA Edge Filers enabled it to achieve gains in productivity, collaboration, and cost savings.

Additionally, the CTERA Mac Assist enhances the user experience of Mac designers interacting with the global filesystem.