Private chatroom and file sharing platform Bistri raises € 2 million

Bistri only launched in October, after 18 months in private beta. At the time, it had already amassed 200 000 users for its private network and said it aimed to add ‘millions’ of users in the first year. (It’s now at 700 000, says its founder). Today, Les Echos report that they raised € 2 million in financing from business angels and a seed fund.

Bistri was founded by former CIO of BT France Arnaud Budkiewicz. It’s a private network for file sharing and (video) chat.

How it works:

Bistri displays* your contacts from services like Facebook, Google, Jabber, Windows Live and Yahoo, and allows you to contact them privately to share (large) files like music, documents and video. In the same private space where you share the file, you can (video) chat with your contact about the file.

If their promotional video is to be believed, it also allows for better control over who can access and share which files – or who owns the pictures that you post (see also: Instagram).

While all this sounds like it could be useful in a business context (it’s reminiscent of the problem that docTrackr is trying to solve), Bistri positions itself foremost as a private consumer network.

I’m curious how Facebook will react to Bistri. The line between offering complementary functionality (file sharing) and piggybacking seems thin here. At least part of Bistri seems to replicate the chat function in Facebook, and I’m not sure Facebook will like that. Facebook recently cut off Vine and Yandex’ Wonder from its API:

“For apps that are using Facebook to either replicate our functionality or bootstrap their growth in a way that creates little value for people on Facebook, such as not providing users an easy way to share back to Facebook, we’ve had policies against this that we are further clarifying today,” Facebook’s Justin Osofsky explained. (source)

Bistri will use the € 2 million to expand its services. In 2013, it wants to roll out its technology to television sets and set top boxes.

UPDATE: Founder Arnaud Budkiewicz tweeted this after we published: