Business & Tech

Carbonite founder to challenge Amazon

David Friend, who founded Boston-based Carbonite Inc. in 2005 to let consumers back up their personal computer files to the Internet cloud, just launched an online data-storage company for big businesses and small startups.

The new company, Wasabi, will face off against a horde of giant companies that already offer similar services, especially Amazon.com’s S3 cloud computing services. Friend is going right after Amazon, with a marketing campaign that claims Wasabi will store data for one-fifth the cost of Amazon’s service, and let customers access their data six times faster. “Wasabi is cheaper than their cheapest and faster than their fastest,” Friend said.

Amazon charges 2.1 to 2.3 cents per gigabyte per month for data storage. Wasabi charges a flat rate of just under four-tenths of one cent for the same amount of storage.

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Wasabi has raised $8.5 million from several individual investors, including Howard Cox of venture firm Greylock Partners and local technology entrepreneur Desh Deshpande.

Even as he challenged Amazon, Friend predicted that no one at the giant company will lose much sleep over Wasabi. “They have 86 different cloud products,” he said, “and we’re only going after storage.” But Friend said that Wasabi can prosper by winning just a fraction of the enterprise storage market.

Hiawatha Bray can be reached at hiawatha.bray@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeTechLab.