When his mother passed away this past December, Parvez Anandam wanted to have something to remember her by. He started taking digital photos of physical images and converted old videos so that her legacy could live on forever.
As he did this, a lightbulb went off in his head.
“That is when I knew that it was time to create a service so that not just the rich and famous but everyone could write their own history,” Anandam said.
And thus the genesis for Anandam’s new startup, Eterniam, a company that enables you to create a “digital estate” to preserve assets like photos, videos, documents. Users can bequeath each asset to chosen beneficiaries so the digital assets can live on even after passing.
There are certainly others in this space, many offering their services for free. But Eterniam, which charges $7 per month, gives you control of your content rather than allowing other companies to do so.
“If the service is free, you’re the product, not the customer,” Anandam said. “You and your life are being sold to advertisers and you don’t have any control over the content you are uploading.”
Anandam said he’s weary of companies like Facebook and Flickr because of their terms of service allow them to do what they want with your content.
“I’m not sure most people want their photos deleted when they’re gone,” said Anadam, a security and privacy veteran with experience at big companies like Microsoft and startups such as SafeWeb, Aventail and TappIn.
But Eterniam, which sports a web product and a mobile app soon to be released, is not focused solely on death. The service allows you to “celebrate life,” and capture moments as you live and upload them to the cloud.
There are currently six people working at the startup, which has raised $100,000 from friends and family with plans to pull in angel investments within the next few months. Anandam has big ambitions to make his new company the most trusted consumer service for digital assets.
“Once we have gained the trust of users, people will want to use Eterniam for even more personal content,” he said. “Where are you going to store all the data that your digital health bracelet is producing? Where are you going to be storing the video stream produced by something like Google Glass? Eterniam is the answer.”