If you’re like me you are holding on to stacks of paperwork you know (think) you’ll need at some point or another. Taxes, employment contracts, vehicle titles, the list goes on…
You undoubtedly also have a wallet full of important information like a license, health insurance info, credit and bank cards, or even a piece of scrap paper with some online passwords (that’s probably in a desk drawer). On a more personal level you might have albums full of priceless photos of family and those glory days of college.
We all face the same problems with these items. Where do I keep it so I can find it easily when needed and what if I lose any of it? Some of you snap photos of this stuff so it’s saved on your phone (good luck finding that login for your fantasy football league). Well Brian Shin, Founder & CEO of Visible Measures, was just like any of us and had enough.
According to Shin “I was trying to keep track of my important info with my phone by taking pictures of various documents, but it got out of hand fast. I quickly realized there was no easy way to put all of my important information in one place and have it with me all the time. That’s when I had the idea for Mustbin.”
Mustbin, which just won Innovative Mobile App of the Year at the MITX Awards, is a new way to capture and organize your most vital information and treasured moments, answering the question: How can individuals organize all their information and be prepared for when they need it?
Partly inspired after a friend who lost all his valuable documents in Superstorm Sandy, Shin founded Mustbin in 2012. Knowing he needed top talent to make this a reality he sought out current CTO, Saty Mahajan.
Mahajan tells me he wasn’t receptive to Shin at first, but a good leader doesn’t give up. Shin’s persistence landed the two of them in South Station discussing the idea over coffee. Ten minutes in, Mahajan was sold. He dropped everything, jumped on board full-time in January 2013 and immediately began assembling his team.
Mahajan is originally from California who came to Boston some 12 years ago when the startup scene was just really starting to get going. He co-founded Motus Corporation, which played in the 3D Motion Capture space in 2002 before ultimately moving over to the mobile space about 5 years ago as an independent developer.
The Mustbin team started building the product in January 2013 and had an MVP built within 4 months, which they got into the hands of investors, friends, family, etc. In June ’13 they attended the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference, where they quickly realized this needed to include a social/sharing aspect. Users loved having their personal info safe and easily accessible, but also wanted the ability to share that info privately with certain people, such as a spouse (or HR personnel).
They formally launched the app in November and I’m told they have “thousands” of users (they don’t disclose firm numbers), tens of thousands of documents stored and are growing daily.
Two months ago, Matthew Fiorentino from Visible Measures joined the team to head up their marketing efforts. Fiorentino tells me the team is focused on improving the user experience than growing the user base. They want to be sure users are fully enjoying the product and want to hear which features are most helpful or what other elements users would like to see.
Mahajan and Fiorentino walked me through the product and it’s certainly user friendly. Within moments they were able to create a new folder, snap a photo of our meeting, share across their team with notes and have this stored for quick reference in the future.
Fiorentino also showed off one of his private folders with irreplaceable photos of his grandfather serving in WW2. He is able to share that folder with family so they’ll always maintain those sentimental images.
Currently the app is free to download and users receive 4GB of storage. This fall, additional storage will be available through purchase. Further monetization strategies are being worked out, but not an immediate focus.
They will launch on Android later this year, which they are excited about as they’ve had to tell many potential users the app is not available for them at this time. The Android app will allow them to attack European countries where Android has a much higher user base.
Mustbin has raised $6 Million to date and is backed by DAG Ventures, General Catalyst, Northgate Capital, Jonathan Kraft and Dharmesh Shah. They also tell me they’ve brought on an advisor who is widely known as one of the top Growth Hackers around, but could not disclose the name at this time.
Moving forward they will focus on their current users and expand marketing efforts (although they are currently in analysis phase). Their plan is to first “own Boston” before focusing heavily on other areas, however San Francisco has a strong user base and they’ve seen great traction in Brazil.
Mustbin stresses their military-grade encryption provides security that is unattainable elsewhere, but is necessary for those that want to store important and private information.
This security is a vital piece for Mustbin moving forward in order to attain the vision of Founder & Chairman, Brian Shin. As he put it: “We want to make it easy for people to save and share their important information. We all have important information we need to save and we all have loved ones who would benefit from always having that information. Think of Mustbin as a digital safe haven for what's important. Mustbin is making people’s lives easier, and we get a great amount of pleasure from knowing that.”