20 Feb Improve your business and employee well-being: join the co-working space!

At Ftopia, we help companies collaborate better, by enabling them to share documents and files in a simple and elegant manner. Since our motto is “Simply share”, we want walk the talk and share ourselves our story as a company. With this blogpost I am starting a series of stories about coworking, which we proudly became a part of. After the launching the brand new version of our service in 2014, we have decided to expand our international operations, and set up a second office in Berlin. Below is our story, why we decided to opt in for a coworking space for our new team.

Most of us have to admit: one might have an awesome job, great colleagues, an exciting product…But there is another pillar to professional well-being which perhaps might not make us look forward impatiently to starting a new working day, but certainly makes working more enjoyable, and it is a great office space.

Unfortunately, if you are a small business, or if your employees are scattered across several countries (at ftopia, we have key contributors working from 5 different countries), it is economically not viable to rent several offices. Not to mention that it is quite boring to work all day long in the friendly yet too silent company of printer and coffee machine, or at home with a cat as their only colleague. That is why coworking has been growing in popularity ever since the first coworking space, 42 West 24, was opened in New York in 1999. Its concept was different from today’s buzzing common working spaces: only a space for working, without any organized events to enhance value for its members. Still, I am sure that 50 coworkers who were occupying 34 desks quickly got to know each other and made the routine more colourful.

15 years later the idea of coworking spaces spread to all major cities and there is an argument not only for freelancers or early-stage startups to join it, but for all kinds of companies (more about it later). In fact, only half of global coworking residents are freelancers, while the other half are entrepreneurs, SMBs, and larger companies. After surveying more than 2000 co-workers worldwide, the Deskmag magazine exposed even more compelling reasons why your company should join the coworking space:

  1. 71% of respondents reported the increase of creativity since joining;
  2. ⅗ of respondents admitted that their standards of work have improved;
  3. 68% of respondents overturned the common claim that coworking spaces can be distracting saying that they were able to focus better (as opposed to 12% who weren’t);
  4. Ladies, don’t be worried that, after joining a co-working space, you will be surrounded by IT geeks: Europe has the highest proportion of female coworkers standing at 42%.
  5. a staggering 90% report an increase in self-confidence, probably due to flexible working hours and supportive community.

That’s not even mentioning that renting a desk at a co-working space is significantly cheaper than renting an office. Average rent rate per square foot in New York was USD 50 last year, and renting a desk in the same 42 West 24 is USD 499/month, which includes all services from kitchen to reception area.

Coworking is popular not only in the Western world, but also in Eastern Europe. TechHub Riga is buzzing mainly with startups, but recently a boutique business development consultancy Cormack Consultancy Group decided to join the TechHub tenants, as one of CCG’s daughter companies is IT startup as well. Anna Rozenfelde, the director of Baltic markets at CCG, says that “before this office we used small office in the city center and often we worked from home. Also the clients had unfavourable impression when being greeted by an empty office space. Moving to Techhub solved numerous problems: we have excellent meeting rooms now, lots of colleagues, private Skype call booths, and the clients like the vibe they get from seeing so many active Baltic startups.”

So when it came to expanding internationally for Ftopia and setting up a new team in Berlin, opting for a co-working space was an obvious choice for us. For a newcomer on the local startup scene, the ability to access resources, knowledge contacts from day one is invaluable. Since we are building a new team from scratch, it’s also great to conduct interviews and welcome new members in a creative, playful and inspiring environment.

This is what we’ve found at the Rainmaking Loft Berlin, the rising startup hub, set up by an international partnership of serial entrepreneurs with offices in Berlin, London and Copenhagen. Here we are in the company of 30 other great startup companies, at various stages of development, from Rubycup to Stripe, from EyeFocus Accelerator to Twilio, from SubVise to FormLabs.

coworking spaces in berlin

But if you haven’t been persuaded by now to opt in for the coworking space, here is a small list of highly practical reasons of why it would be beneficial (besides the great community spirit that you become a part of):

  1. Central locations: the coworking spaces are usually situated in the centre or close to the city centre which is usually an advantage for commuters;
  2. Standard collection of office resources included in the price: The standard office “must-have-things” are shared which makes it cheaper compared to buying them yourself: printer, coffee machine, fridge (let alone a fully-equipped kitchen), high-speed wifi, meeting rooms;
  3. Corporate parties included: Coworking spaces slash some expenses of the small companies: there is almost no need to worry about corporate activities, as most of the places organize their own events on major holidays and often have monthly gatherings
  4. Effortless networking: networking is an inseparable part of coworking: everyone is always welcome to exchange contacts, to share, and learn from each others’ unique skillsets and experiences.
  5. Learn something: most coworking spaces are still very much entrepreneur-oriented and sponsor excellent learning workshops and invite many great speakers to visit and present (for example Simon Schneider, the entrepreneur who made multi-million dollar exit out of his last startup). Although it might not totally suit your role profile, it is always a great source of inspiration.


About the author: Kate Kolbina is a marketing and communication coordinator at Ftopia. Russian from Estonia, living in Berlin and being lost in her numerous identities. Jazz-loving bookworm and geocaching enthusiast.

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29 Oct New version, new website, new horizon!


As a result of 20 month of hard work, we are extremely happy to announce today the general availability of the new version of ftopia… and we use the opportunity to publish our new website as well!

Since 2009, we deliver file-centric collaborative solutions, with a Web application, Windows and Mac OS X desktop synchronization and mobile apps. We have collected feedback from hundred of users, and carefully studied how file sharing has evolved in the business world.

At the beginning of 2013, we came to the conclusion that it was better to re-develop a large part of our technology, in order to redefine its underlying software architecture.


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30 Oct ftopia and Cloudwatt offer cloud storage solutions designed for businesses

Paris, October 30 2013 – Ftopia, a global provider of Cloud-based, file-centric collaboration solutions, has become a strategic partner of Cloudwatt.

Founded in 2009, ftopia delivers file sharing and synchronization services running on AWS and Openstack-powered clouds. ftopia technology, based on open-source components, enables businesses to store and share information in a simple and secure environment, via a web application, mobile apps and desktop synchronization. The company serves about a hundred customers across Europe and North America.

Cloudwatt, a new European Cloud Computing provider founded, offers to businesses of all sizes efficient and innovative solutions for data storage and computing, with a strong focus on security, transparency and reversibility.

File sharing and syncing is a rapidly-growing market, dominated by US vendors today. With Cloudwatt-box, the file sharing solution using ftopia technology and integrated in Cloudwatt’s secure infrastructure, European organisations will benefit from a genuine alternative.

Collaborative synchronization and file-sharing applications are key drivers for cloud adoption by businesses,” explains Patrick Stack, President of Cloudwatt. “We wanted to offer a solution that is innovative, professional and perfectly integrated within our secure infrastructure. This is why we have selected ftopia technology and developed a strategic partnership.”

Online file sharing services have transformed the way organisations operate. They are now an essential factor of productivity,” says Philippe Honigman, President and Founder of ftopia. “We are excited to be part of this project with Cloudwatt and thus contribute to the growth of the European digital economy.”

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25 Jun Ftopia and Brother™ Partner To Deliver Desktop Integration And “One-Touch Pull Scanning” To The Cloud

Business Teams Can Now Efficiently Scan-to and Operate
Brother™ Scanners and All-in-Ones from the Cloud

SAN FRANCISCO, CA & BRIDGEWATER, NJ — June 25, 2012 — ftopia, a global provider of cloud-based data collaboration and storage services, and Brother International Corporation, premier provider of products for the home, home office and office, today announced a partnership that enables businesses to securely scan files and directly upload them to the ftopia cloud service. The partnership marks the first cloud-based file sharing and storage solution that is part of Brother Online, a suite of smart, web-based business services and solutions.


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11 Jul Saverglass selects ftopia to streamline communication with its suppliers

SAVERGLASS Group, the global leader in luxury glass packaging for the wine and spirits and the fragrance and cosmetics industries, has adopted ftopia for optimizing its document sharing processes.

Saverglass selects ftopia to streamline communication with its suppliersBecause Saverglass works internationally with many entities (the Group generates half of its revenue from exports), it shares a multitude of frequently-updated documents with external parties. The Group was in need of a solution that would overcome the inherent file size limitations of email and that would boost collaboration while ensuring security of the information being exchanged.

Enhancing the Supplier Relationship with Document Sharing

1. Circulation of Price Quotes for Maritime Transport

Saverglass’ sales department must constantly use price quotes for sea transport to hundreds of destinations when making offers to its customers and prospects. Before implementing ftopia’s service, the purchasing department solicited shipping prices from freight carriers by exchanging and building Excel spreadsheets via email and then uploaded them to a file server for internal access.

Because of the difference between the number of shipping destinations listed and those actually served, this manual and repetitive task used to consume more time, effort, and attention from the purchasing department than needed. ftopia’s collaborative service enabled the Group to restructure and improve this process with a system that allows freight carriers to instantly upload quotes into shared online workspaces.

Sales teams now have direct and immediate access to up-to-date information without requiring the purchasing department’s help or soliciting freight carriers unnecessarily. The end result is time-savings and increased responsiveness and productivity for internal teams and suppliers.

2. Requests for Proposals – Work and Investments

For every major project, Saverglass Group must provide potential suppliers with RFPs including specifications, models, and a number of other large files. Given the file attachment size limits of Saverglass’ internal mail system, CDs and USB flash drives were used for exchanging this data. This was an inconvenient solution – especially when sourcing geographically remote suppliers.

Ftopia provides all authorized parties with a single access point to data and a centralized and secure environment for each proposal. Now RFPs are simply uploaded into compartmentalized online workspaces and interested companies have direct access to download them from any location with an Internet connection.

Data is easily updated and companies are automatically notified via email whenever updates are made. Detailed user activity reports ensure complete traceability of all files and enable teams to determine whether each file has been viewed by its intended recipient(s).

Saverglass’ Expectations Surpassed

Thanks to ftopia, Saverglass has not only made file sharing with its suppliers much easier, but it has also increased productivity by simplifying the flow of communication and reducing response time.

In addition to resolving all the issues posed by Saverglass Group, ftopia’s solution has become an even more valuable tool for the Group which has since found many other uses for the service.

ftopia, like any good information system, is a structuring tool that allowed us to simplify and optimize the organization of our work. We won time but also added relevance and value to our operations.
Vincent Malvault – Group Buyer, Saverglass

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08 Mar ftopia secured by Panda

Panda SecurityPanda Security, the leading provider of cloud-based protection against malware and viruses, and ftopia, a global provider of cloud-based file-centric collaboration, today announced that they have joined forces in order to make online file collaboration safer.

Panda’s cloud-based antimalware technology is now used to scan files upon uploading them to ftopia data rooms. Suspicious files are automatically quarantined and the account administrators are notified about potential security risks.

Cloud-based antimalware with Cloud-based collaboration

Panda Security has pioneered in cloud-based security by developing its exclusive real-time Collective Intelligence technology, a security platform with database servers hosted in the Cloud. These servers receive and store information from the user community regarding virus detections and new threats. All of Panda’s security products benefit from Collective Intelligente knowledge, resulting in much greater threat detection and efficiency rates than the market average and an overall higher level of security than provided by traditional technologies.

As more files are stored and shared in the cloud, so must be security,” said Josu Franco, Director of Corporate Development at Panda Security. “We are excited to join our expertise with ftopia so that cloud-based protection goes hand-in-hand with cloud-based storage.

As a Software as a Service (SaaS) provider of online file sharing services, ftopia delivers an environment that is both secure and very simple to use for business professionals. With unparalleled protection and preservation of all data room contents as top priority, ftopia employs the most powerful combination of security measures on the Web. SSL encryption, SAS 70 type II-certified infrastructure, file timestamping, and digital signing ensure the utmost safety and integrity of data while it resides in the Cloud and transmits across the Internet between collaborators.

Online file collaboration services have transformed the way organizations operate. They have also increased the speed and the volume of exchanged data,” said Philippe Honigman, Founder and CEO of ftopia. “Our partnership with Panda Security will enable companies to reap the benefits of cross-organization collaboration while providing an additional layer of malware protection.

Panda Security’s antimalware protection is available immediately as an option to ftopia account holders.

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14 Feb The first provably secure cloud collaboration service

ftopia, a global provider of cloud-based data collaboration and storage services, and GuardTime, creator of the patented Keyless Signature™ technology used to validate the world’s data, today announced a partnership that enables businesses to securely share their files without relying on trust as a means to validate the integrity of their data.

With GuardTime’s Keyless Signatures technology integrated within ftopia’s secure rooms, businesses will be able to:

  • Securely store their data online with undeniable proof of integrity, eliminating the need to rely on trust
  • Safely share and synchronize their content with other people, providing evidence that the content has not been changed since it was last shared
  • Convert their data stored in the cloud into safe, tamper-evident data archives

GuardTime’s Keyless Signature technology provides proof of signing authority, time of the signature, and lifelong integrity for data stored in the cloud or in transit between business collaborators. The signature never expires and its verification is based solely on mathematics, eliminating the need for secrets or keys and the unwieldy management associated with traditional PKI technologies that fail in the cloud.

Business teams can securely store and share files with proof that their data remains intact

The integration of our unique Keyless Signature technology within the ftopia collaboration and storage service answers the most pressing question facing the cloud computing industry — how can businesses trust their data in the cloud?” said Mike Gault, CEO of GuardTime. “The answer is they don’t have to, as cloud service providers such as ftopia can now provide proof of data integrity for the content stored within any GuardTime-enabled secure storage location. Furthermore, with the GuardTime Keyless Signature by its side, the proof of integrity follows the data wherever it goes, even when shared outside an ftopia secure room.

Organizations are often leery of storing their data in the cloud or sharing their data with other people. However, with the GuardTime-enabled ftopia secure rooms, we eliminate the need for businesses to blindly trust the integrity of their content by delivering proof that no content changes have been made since the files were uploaded,” said Philippe Honigman, Founder and CEO of ftopia. “Integrating GuardTime’s Keyless Signature technology into the ftopia service fulfills the otherwise unanswered need of provable security for businesses interested in using cloud-based services for storage and collaboration.

The GuardTime-enabled secure storage and collaboration service is available immediately as a subscription add-on to any of the paid Standard or Enterprise plans offered by ftopia.

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13 Oct Fotolia and ftopia become partners

Committed to its promise of promoting the secure exchange and file-sharing amongst the world’s professionals, ftopia is bringing their delivery one step further through its partnership with Fotolia – a company that offers professionals in all sectors an online collection of over 10 million royalty-free photos, vector illustrations and HD videos at affordable fees – adding a new service to its offer portfolio.

Upon creation of their user account, ftopia clients will enjoy free access to a set of royalty-free, regularly-updated images, made available to them in their private online ftopia sharing space.

ftopia users will also have access to the entire Fotolia catalogue, allowing them to choose from the 10 million available references. Additionally, with each Fotolia account opened, the ftopia user will be given a 20% discount on their first purchase.

An offer dedicated to graphic design and communication professionals

The offer aims at meeting the needs of publishing professionals whose work requires permanent use of pictures, photos or videos (such as advertising and communication companies, graphic and web designers, etc.), but also those of communication and marketing professionals no matter the field.

Professionals responsible for sharing media quickly find the limitations in email distributions: heavy graphics and multi-media files are too large and blocked at the receiving end, while sending out updated versions to several contacts can lead to the risk of using incorrect versions of the files. As for standard ftp sites, they are often tricky to approach for non-technical professionals and are not always accessible via company networks.

With ftopia, Web agencies, creative designers and communication professionals have immediate access to the secure online storage facility which promotes consistent and up-to-date project information sharing with all members of the team. To make the collaboration and sharing process easy, users can view and validate their files without having to download them first: video rushes, design drafts, storyboards, etc. Multimedia information is secure and available everywhere, to every authorized person.

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01 Mar ftopia joins Microsoft BizSpark program

ftopia, a supplier of secure online file-sharing workspaces in SaaS mode (Software as a Service) for professionals, announces that the company joined BizSpark, a Microsoft program.

Microsoft BizSpark is a global program designed to help accelerate the success of startups. Perfectly answering to new companies’ needs, BizSpark provides access to Microsoft resources as software, technical support and visibility to the supported startups.

We are very happy to be supported by Microsoft through a global program like BizSpark,” declares Philippe Honigman, Founder and CEO, ftopia. “Being sponsored by Microsoft testifies the relevance of our offer and its potential on our market. Moreover, this partnership and the privileged access to the Microsoft sales and technological resources will enable us to accelerate our growth, still preserving our advance.

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11 Dec TravelHorizon Group uses ftopia online data rooms

TravelHorizon Group, an online tour operator, the only global company in its sector which is already established in 7 countries, has just closed a 20 million Euro round of financing and the acquisition of Sportura, its Dutch competitor and specialist in ski-related trips. This new step allows the TravelHorizon Group to become number 1 in the mountain holidays business in Europe.
AGF Private Equity, CM-CIC Private Capital, together with Wellington Partners, an existing shareholder, managed the fund-raising (more…)

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