mustbin, a personal data organizer that allows you to take photos of important documents (such as financial statements, home and vehicle information, medical documents, etc.) and store them securely in the cloud, has become one of the go-to apps on my iPhone home screen since it launched in private beta last November. Today, the company is announcing additional funding of $1.5 million, as well as an expansion of its service to now include a secure messaging component.
Founded in late 2012 by Brian Shin, also founder and CEO of Visible Measures, Mustbin previously raised $4.5 million in Series A funding from DAG Ventures, General Catalyst Partners, Mohr Davidow, Northgate Capital, Hubspot founder Dharmesh Shah, Jonathan Kraft and other angel investors. The additional $1.5 million, which comes from existing investors, brings the company to $6 million raised to date.
Although a secure document storage app can seemingly compete with the “big guys” in cloud storage, like Google, Microsoft, Dropbox, Box and others, Mustbin’s unique angle is that it’s a a mobile application where “Documents” are just well-organized iPhone photos. In fact, Shin told us earlier, he got the idea for Mustbin because he tried to keep track of things himself by taking moving photos, but it got out of hand.
Mustbin’s interface, instead, lets you organize these types of photos into collections such as “Wallet”, “Home”, “Car”, etc., and offers guides to help you create your categories. level as well as import specific types of records (e.g. insurance cards, bank statements, receipts, immunization records, etc.).
Meanwhile, everything you put in Mustbin contains AES-256 encryption and end-to-end encryption during cloud sync. The data is stored on Amazon S3, where it’s also encrypted, so even company engineers can’t access it.
Messaging and trash sharing
Today, the company is rolling out a few features to expand what was previously an app designed largely for personal use: Secure Messages and Bin Sharing. The messaging feature allows Mustbin users to send free messages to each other with end-to-end encryption. This makes sense in an app where you’re dealing with sensitive data – instead of switching to iMessage and then communicating over those files, you can now do so securely directly within the app.
Adds Mustin’s Chief Marketing Officer, Matt Fiorentino, “it streamlines the whole experience.”
Additionally, these messages are then permanently archived in the Mustbin app, so they will be available for years after they are sent.
Additionally, with Bin Sharing, Mustbin now lets you share entire folders (“bins”) with trusted friends and family. For example, you could share a “bin” with your loved one containing your household documents, while you could use another bin to share photos with your family and another to organize hospital bills. Trash members can also now comment on and like trash content, which moves Mustbin a bit into “social” app territory.
“Our mission is to empower people to own and control their information and communications. The first step was to help people take ownership of their information, which is what we focused on for the first version of the app,” says Fiorentino. “The second step is to help people take ownership of their communication, which is what secure messaging and locker sharing are all about,” he says.
Although the company declined to share exact user numbers, it would say it has “thousands of users” who are now organizing “tens of thousands” of documents. The additional funding will be used to help Mustbin accelerate its growth over the next year to 18 months, we are told.
The updated version of Mustbin is available here on iTunes.