Korea-Russia start-up to face off with Dropbox, eyes global market

The worldwide cloud services market has already become a battlefield for the big guys, with little leeway for small companies to barge in. Korean start-up ASD Technologies disagrees, and vows to take on Dropbox, reports ZDNet Korea’s Cho Mu-hyun.

Formed by Korean and Russian IT specialists, ASD Technologies doesn’t offer personal cloud storage directly. It wholesales its Cloudike solution to IT and telco clients who can use it to create their own brand of cloud services for consumers.

In an interview with ZDNet Korea, ASD Technologies President Lee Sun-ung says for telecommunication service companies the decision on whether to enter the personal cloud service market is becoming more and more nerve-wracking. If they choose to launch, costs can be debilitating, but if they don’t they may lose valuable subscribers.

ASD Technologies president Lee Sun-ung

“The desire of global telcos is to launch personal cloud services to prevent subscribers from breaking away,” says Lee, previously a director at Korean tech giant LG Electronics' cloud division. “If someone offers them a stable and affordable solution to build a service, then that can be a very attractive business.”

Lee says clients can save nearly a tenth of the budget required to build a personal cloud service. “A large company I know spent 5 billion won ($4.87 million) for two years. Our Cloudike will allow you to start in three to six month with just 300 million ($292,540) to 600 million won ($585,080).”

ASD Technologies’ main target is Eastern Europe and East Asia as those markets are yet to be penetrated by the likes of Amazon or Dropbox, says Lee.

The company is slowly but steadily building an impressive track record. It is already providing Cloudike to Russian telco MegaFon, and recently signed a deal with Turkish electronics company Vestel.

Lee met co-founders Max Azarov and Dmitry Malin while working at LG Electronics’ cloud service team in 2010. Cloudike was built from the technologies used to build services at the Korean tech giant.

Due to his differing view with how to approach the business with his former company, Lee departed to form ASD Technologies.

“Russia, with its population of 140 million, has a great workforce that has high engineering competence and I think the potential for a cloud business there is huge,” says the President. “My experience was a great help in entering the market there.”

One of the biggest hurdles for services like Dropbox is how to monetize it. But ADS Technologies gets paid for each new subscriber acquired by its retail clients who offer Cloudike-based cloud services that will insure long-term income for both.

Lee says one of the company’s biggest strengths is its Russian back-end IT developers who are leveraging open source cloud technologies such as Hadoop, OpenStack, MongoDB and others. “We have high-quality back-end developers and we will use that to aggressively expand in the global market,” he said.

Source; ZDNet Korea (zdnet.co.kr)