The cloud storage space has taken off in recent years thanks to a plethora of startups like Dropbox and Box, not to mention services from heavyweights like Microsoft, Google and others. Yet, despite many big names and relative market consolidation, San Francisco-based Minbox is a new entrant that’s raised $800,000 to take on the establishment with its “freaking fast” service.

Available to use from today, Minbox is a free file transfer and storage plug-in service for Mac created by the founders of online journal Penzu. Files of any size or type can be shared to friends and contacts using a drag and drop interface, but they are only stored on Minbox’s servers for 30 days.

Though file storage is limited in that respect, Minbox is notable because it transfers files at a zippy rate and — unlike Dropbox — lets user share the link with a recipient before the file is done uploading. The file is only available to the recipient when fully uploaded, but instantaneous sharing eradicates the chances of forgetting to send the link because you’ve gone to do something else while it uploads to Dropbox.

Minbox also allows files to be sent later (at a specific time), while it supports raw image files and creates responsive galleries which house shared photos.

In addition to the basic service, a premium Minbox Pro subscription is slated to launch “in the coming months”, while the company “hopes to release more apps” for other platforms in due course.

Minbox isn’t revealing the price of Pro, but it will store files permanently, to compete on a more level footing with Dropbox. The premium service will also include encryption, higher quality file conversions, the ability to set expiration dates on files and more.

The service targets two groups of users specifically: those who regularly store and upload large files, and those that find existing services to be too slow. Alexander Mimran, founder & CEO of Minbox, explains more:

“Creative professionals such as photographers and designers handle huge files, and the filetransfer process can often be excruciatingly slow. With all due respect to sync services like Dropbox, the industry needs a lightweight alternative for direct transfer. Minbox gets it done at ground-breaking speeds.”

As well as launching, Minbox has raised the $800,000 round from a range of angel investors which includes: George Zachary (Charles River Ventures), Dave Cohen (Bullettime Ventures), Matt Ocko, Jeff Zucker (President of CNN), Tim Young (Socialcast), Ben Chestnut (Mailchimp), Rho Ventures, and Correlation Ventures.

If you’re in the market for a fast file-transfer option and haven’t yet found one to suit your needs, then Minbox is worth a look.

For now, the limitations on storage and lack of mobile apps and premium service mean Minbox won’t be replacing Dropbox for now, at least. But with a few more features, it could develop into an interesting alternative.

Here’s a video with plenty of attitude (and the kind of creative license early-stage startups often enjoy) to highlight Minbox’s competitive advantage over Dropbox and others.

➤ Minbox

Headline image via Thinkstock