Have you ever been overwhelmed by paper clutter in your physical mailbox and at home? Counters, tables, desks covered with receipts, bills, legal documents that seem to always pile up faster than you have the time for organizing and filing them ? And then, when you are looking for an important document (say, your mortgage papers), you have no idea where it is ? Have you ever wondered when would be the time you'd be able to go "fully paperless" and pro-actively save a few trees per month ? -By Philippe Mora (@philippemora)
San Francisco, 04/09/14 - Back in 2005, I decided that I was done with all the paper clutter in my house and decided to go totally paperless. At that time I only had a very slow HP scanner connected to my mac and it would take about 2 hours per week to scan all my bills, receipts and other important papers to PDF. It took me two years to go fully digital - vendors from insurances to credit cards were just starting with online, paperless statements, and retrieving them from the gazillions of accounts online was a cumbersome exercise because of too many passwords and logins.
Today, my statements go directly from the vendor to a designated folder in my dropbox, so do all the receipts (restaurants, parkings, etc) that get scanned from my phone. The operation is seamless effortless and costs me less than $100 per year.
From a business standpoint, FileThis and Expensify have understood the B2B aspect of the equation: Businesses have a direct customer service opportunity with their customers, in any vertical ranging from banking to insurances, hotels, brokers, in fact, anybody who sends statements to their customers. Also no need to reinvent the wheel: we already have secure and effective cloud storage services like dropbox, so no need to yet get there. In fact, FileThis potential is almost infinite when it deals with document organization and curation. We can also think about more verticals and types of documents that FileThis can cleverly stash for you - movies, pictures and other non-text-based digital assets.
Lastly, the white labeling and corporate opportunities are endless and FileThis is really well positioned for an Evernote or Dropbox acquisition ....
So go stash everything in your life today!
FileThis Comes To iOS To Automatically Gather And Organize Your Personal Documents
FileThis, the cloud-based document filing service that works something like Mint.com, in that it automatically logs into your online accounts then gathers data on your behalf, is now taking its service mobile with the introduction of the FileThis iOS application.
The service was first announced at MacWorld in 2012. Today, FileThis can access your documents saved online, like your bank statements, bills, and other files from your credit card companies, cable/Internet provider, your mobile operator, insurance company, online trading account, health insurer and more. Those files are then synced to the cloud storage service of your choice for safe keeping, including Evernote, Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, Personal and, now, FileThis’s own online storage solution called FileThis Cloud.
In addition, users can also scan and upload their own files using a desktop application designed for Mac.
The idea for FileThis came about after co-founder Brian Berson and his brother had to move their mother to an assisted living facility and were faced with having to work through 20 years’ worth of her documents. They didn’t know what to save and what to toss, and it was an overwhelming task to say the least.
“Going through all of that, I realized that we’re living in the 21st century – we’re living in a digital world – and yet, as consumers, we still deal with a lot of paperwork,” says Berson. Documents come to us in the mail in paper format, while others are made available digitally, but not easily accessible to us. It’s the latter that is FileThis’s main focus. It’s trying to make it easier for us to collect, organize, archive and search across those online files, which are today scattered around the web.
To get started with the service, U.S. consumers sign up for an account, add their preferred archival destinations (e.g. Dropbox, Google Drive, Evernote, etc.), then add their connections to their online accounts at their utilities, financial services, online retailers like Gap or Amazon, and others. There are now around 350 supported institutions you can connect with, and the company is adding 20 to 25 more each month.
Berson says that once FileThis supports 3,000 institutions, it will reach roughly 85 percent to 90 percent of most used services on the market. (It’s currently at 75 percent, he estimates, because the 350 it supports now are the largest ones.) The average user on FileThis has 12.8 online connections, he also notes.
The product is a freemium service, with up to six institutions available for free, and a paid tier ($4.99/month, 30 connections) for those who need more. Though the company declined to provide exact user base figures, it’s now in the “five digits,” we’re told, and is seeing an 18 percent conversion rate from free to paid.
Now available on mobile, FileThis’s application for iPhone and iPad lets users connect to their online accounts, configure their cloud storage preferences, and view their saved files while on the go. But it also adds a key feature that works around one of the service’s earlier pain points: file uploads.
Before, users would have to scan their paper files to digital format — a time-consuming task, at best, and certainly a cumbersome one for those who don’t have an at-home desktop scanner. With the mobile app, you can instead snap a photo of a file or receipt and add it to your FileThis online collection.
That will see the service competing to some extent with another newer startup, Mustbin, a mobile app that last winter raised $4.5 million in Series A funding for its personal data organizer. I’ve personally found Mustbin very handy for keeping track of all the random paperwork I’m still handed out there in the real world, from receipts for new tires to vet bills to financial statements and more. But FileThis’s app now offers a compelling alternative, especially because I know my files can be archived on a platform that will probably stick around for a while, like Google Drive or Dropbox.
San Francisco-based FileThis, co-founded by CTO Trent Brown, is a 10-person company backed by $2 million in funding from undisclosed strategic investors, including an unnamed Fortune 500 company. (FileThis’s SEC filing only reveals John Wortman of Valeo Financial Advisors is involved).
The new iOS application is available as a free download here. An Android version will be available in May.
[Read More: "FileThis Comes to iOS" Thank You TechCrunch 03/26/14]
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