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Saturday, Jul 13, 2024

A Promise to Connect Media Like a Personal Server

Isn’t technology great? Your music, your photos, your videos are all digital now. The problem is that they are scattered all over the place, split among desktops and mobile devices made by different tech companies and running different operating systems.

Bottom line: if you want to show off your vacation photos from Barbados on your Android phone — but the photos reside far away on your wife’s home iMac — you probably are out of luck.

Erik Caso and Mike Abraham see opportunity in that situation, as do the venture capitalists who have put $11.5 million into their company, Entangled Media Corp.

Entangled makes a software app called Younity, which lets you fetch the Barbados photos from the family iMac while you are using your smartphone.

The company is aiming its product to an older demographic: 24 to 44 years old.

Entangled calls Younity a personal media server. It will fetch files from computers as diverse as a Mac desktop, a PC laptop and a mobile device of whatever flavor, and stream them to a device running Younity.

“We can make all of them work as if they have one shared set of files,” said Caso, the company’s CEO. “There’s no uploading. There’s no syncing. We don’t ever store your data. We don’t even have storage servers. We just connect the devices together so that they’re sharing all the information on what’s happening between one another.”

The software lets people search for file attributes — such as the name of a favorite musical group or a location of a vacation photo — across multiple devices.

“We decouple access from storage,” Caso said. “Right now there is a very rigid relationship between what you access and where it’s stored. Our belief is that storage is rather incidental. You have storage in a lot of places: on each of the devices you have, maybe online as well. That relationship is a limitation.”

Caso showed off versions of the app to a reporter at the company’s office in Encinitas. Outwardly, versions of the software running on the iOS and Android phones look similar, with simple user interfaces.

The company recently introduced the Android version, and for now at least, the product is free.

Caso said the company plans to monetize the business in the second half of the year. He said he is considering making a premium version of the app available to power users for perhaps $3 to $4 a month, though he added that his game plan is not yet firm.

It is likely something Entangled will figure out through testing, the CEO said.

“There are probably many ways we do monetize — some might do well, others might fail miserably,” he said in an email. “It is more art than science.”

Entangled Media has two patents on its software. A third is pending.

The business announced an $8 million series A funding round in December. Marker LLC led the round. Draper

Associates and PROfounders Capital also participated.

The company’s series B round is probably a year in the future, Caso said.

The company started in Colorado, near Mike Abraham’s roots but far from capital. The company moved to Orange County and then made a short-lived move to Santa Monica before Caso reconsidered and pulled up stakes again, choosing Encinitas. San Diego has quality talent, Caso said.

Entangled Media has 28 employees. Abraham, the chief technology officer, has stayed in Boulder, Colo., where he heads the R&D team of slightly fewer than 20 people. Business, marketing and non-technical staff work in Encinitas, a short distance from the beach.

The technology business can be so all-encompassing, said the 42-year-old Caso, who noted that he also wants balance, time for family — and time for surfing.


CEO: Erik Caso

Revenue: Pre-revenue

No. of local employees: 11

Investors: Marker LLC, Draper Associates, PROfounders Capital, angel investors,

the founders

Headquarters: Encinitas

Year founded: 2013

What makes the company innovative: The business makes Younity, a “personal media server” able to retrieve and stream files off a person’s collection of computers


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