Word is the reference text editor. The term Excel already serves as a synonym for spreadsheet. Files that are too large to attach to an email end up being sent through WeTransfer. The firm created by Bas Beerens has managed to enter the select group of reference tools of all computer users: we have all sent or received documents through the Dutch platform (well, or almost all).
The company has grown in recent years. The 40 employees that he had two years ago have become about 130 distributed in his offices in Amsterdam, Los Angeles and New York. Its takeoff is due to its flagship product, of course. But those responsible for the company want more. They have incorporated several services with which they want to position themselves as the reference platform for the creative community.
"We have gone from being totally focused on a very successful file transfer service to offering a variety of work tools aimed at training creative minds," he says. Gordon Willoughby, CEO, moments before participating in a round table of the South Summit 2018. "WePresent is very focused on the editorial field; Paper is an iPad tool for making sketches acquired this summer at FiftyThree that in 2014 it was downloaded more than 25 million times and whose objective is that you can capture your ideas quickly; and Paste is a app which serves to make collaborative presentations, "sums up Willoughby.
With these tools, WeTransfer aims to become strong among the creative community. "We offer usable and effective tools for creative minds, capable of making good ideas become real events. Our target it's the individuals and the small agencies that engage in creative activities. We do not want to reach large companies, but relevant professionals, "he explains.
The secret of success
WeTransfer launched its file submission service in 2009. How has it managed to establish itself as a reference? "I think one of our great advantages is that we have invested a lot of time and money in making something that is complex very simple to use.
We have also taken great care of the privacy of the people: you do not even have to open an account to use it and the files that are uploaded to the platform are deleted seven days later. We make a great effort to ensure that the users' fingerprint is minimal, "explains the CEO of the company. "After what we've seen with Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, this matter is even more important," he says.
The model is freemium: the service is free and, who wants more capacity of sending, can pay it. The first of them, the true engine of the company, is supported by advertising. "We have done very well with this model, so we do not intend to change it. I think it is very appropriate for the use made of the service. People know that there is nothing free: if they do not charge you or there are no ads, or it is a SAAS (software as a service) and therefore try to pay in the end or what they do is harvest your data to sell to third parties. Users appreciate that we are transparent: advertising allows us to be free, "he explains.
In search of privacy
One of the company's obsessions is to safeguard the privacy of its users. "Implementing the GDPR has been relatively simple for us: we only have the data of those who subscribe to the service premium. The GDPR has become a global standard and we have decided to apply it to all our users. And we have had a very good response in the US. "
Advertising helps WeTransfer monetize the free document loading and unloading service. And they have had to resist the siren songs that called them to use the information they have from their users to improve the performance of that advertising. But those songs hit the wall of privacy. "Most companies are betting on more and more programmatic advertising models, to go towards niche objectives. We have not done it, and that our community of users is very valuable: they are influencers Y early adopters"
The advance of the cloud
At WeTransfer, they are aware of the changes that the internet has experienced since the signing started in 2009. More and more services and documents are hosted in the cloud. And, if it continues to grow, there may come a time when there are no files to be sent … because they will all be in the cloud. "There are still many files that need to be exchanged: music, illustrations, videos … Many of the shipments that we manage are projects for clients. The confirmation of download, silly as it may seem, is one of the features most appreciated by our users: users want to make sure that their customers receive their products. "