Bitcasa, which three years ago tried to sell the idea of infinite storage in the cloud for $10 per month, is killing its entire cloud storage business to focus full attention on its platform business.
In an email dated April 21 to its customers, the San Mateo, California-based company said the following:
"This message is to inform you that the Bitcasa Drive service will no longer be supported. You will need to take action to avoid losing your files.
"All data must be downloaded by 11:59pm PST on May 20, 2016, after which time all accounts and stored data on Bitcasa Drive will be permanently deleted.
"To learn why this is happening, please click here.
"Thank you for being a Bitcasa user. We have appreciated all of your support."
Business Strategy Change to Sell Driver
More than a year ago, Bitcasa made a central business strategy change to its CloudFS software driver, which allows any device to access cloud storage automatically at the operating system level, eliminating the need for storage on desktop or portable drives.
The idea was to help users not to have to think about storage—by using this driver, all content was to flow directly into the secure Bitcasa cloud and not into any type of physical storage.
Not anymore, however. There will be no Bitcasa cloud storage after May 20. Anybody using a Bitcasa CloudFS driver will have to channel all content to another cloud service provider, such as AWS, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud.
Actually, Bitcasa doesn't appear to like the storage business as a whole anymore. It is killing its own cloud service, and it also doesn't want anybody to store files in physical stores.
To that, we at eWEEK say: Everything has to be somewhere, and this includes digital files.
The company explained:
"Bitcasa Drive Discontinued"
"We are discontinuing our Bitcasa Drive service in order to focus our full attention on our growing platform business. All account owners must take action to avoid losing their files. For more information, please visit our Help Center. Thank you for being a Bitcasa Drive user. We have appreciated all of your support."
A Bitcasa representative did not respond to an eWEEK request to know how much data will be vacating the company's cloud store by May 20.
Not the First Time Bitcasa Has Been in Trouble
This isn't the first time that Bitcasa has changed the rules for its storage customers. In November 2014, the company dropped the "unlimited" service after a number of customers went crazy with storing content, causing the company to consider bankruptcy. CEO Brian Taptich, who didn't create the original business plan, called the whole strategy a "wildly money-losing proposition."
Angry customers filed a class action lawsuit against the company for allegedly breaching its contract through the sudden switch.
The lawsuit ended in Bitcasa's favor, with U.S. District Judge William Alsup ordering the plaintiff to shell out $99 for an additional month under Bitcasa’s new pricing plan if he wants more time to move data. However, financial details unearthed in the lawsuit painted a bleak picture for the startup.
Taptich told GigaOm at the time that removing unlimited storage was not a pleasant experience but a necessary move for the company to get its finances back on track. Bitcasa simply could not afford to keep unlimited-storage users as customers; one user who was storing 82TB of data was costing the company around $3,000 to $4,000 a month, he said.