Hard Knocks: How A Schoolboy Rugby Injury Inspired This Tech Entrepreneur

Fran Villalba Segarra was fortunate to have a sports injury that turned out to be his lucky break. After eight weeks of being in a plaster cast and unable to move, he decided to learn code. After creating several successful products, he started Internxt in 2017. The goal was to make cloud storage decentralized and accessible to everyone who has an internet connection.

Villalba Segarra was initially born in Valencia, Spain. He moved to the U.K. at the age of 13 to continue his education. After being a keen rugby player, he joined his school’s rugby team. But, one year later, he suffered a severe injury to his knee.

“I began learning code through YouTube out of boredom and curiosity,” he said.

OneSite was his first project. This free platform for web design was later sold to a Spanish web hosting company. Villalba Segarra worked for cloud company Hostinger for five years, honing his technical skills and knowledge. He then moved to The Netherlands to complete an international business administration degree. In his final year of university, he saved his money to create the Internet. The company is a privacy-focused startup.

The Internet has been developing a series of services. It launched Internxt Drive a year ago, a cloud storage app that offers an alternative to Dropbox or Google Drive. The idea was to create a cloud service that gave users complete control, security, privacy, and access to their files. It’s based on a system Villalba Segarra says is more secure than most cloud-based apps, such as those offered at Google.

He said that “Big tech companies are not protecting users’ privacy. Their business model is to use your data for targeted ads, and they collect far more data than necessary.”

Internxt Drive acquired more than a million active users within one year of its launch. This suggests a growing interest in privacy-friendly services.

Villalba Segarra explains: “Unlike cloud storage providers like Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive, Apple iCloud or Apple iCloud, Internxt Drive uses zero-knowledge encryption. The files are uploaded and client-side encrypted. Only you have the decryption keys.

Information is also stored in a highly distributed manner. Internxt’s distributed architecture makes use of servers located around the globe. The files of users are split into tiny pieces before being encrypted and distributed across multiple servers.

Villalba Segarra states that a server doesn’t hold a complete file. It only contains an encrypted fragment, which you can decrypt. “Decentralized cloud architectures have become more popular because they offer more features than those provided by central architectures.

The company’s monthly growth rate is 30%. This is a trend that the founder feels can be sustained through 2021/2022. Internxt just closed a $1 million seed-round with Angels Capital, a European VC Fund owned by Juan Roig and ESADE University.

The funds will help the company move to the next level of growth by investing in marketing and hiring more engineers. In 2021, the turnover is estimated to be EUR1,000,000 ($1.9million), with a forecast of EUR4million ($4.74million) by 2022. Internxt Photos, which is a competitor of Google Photos, was launched already. Internet Mail, as well as file transfer app Internxt Sen, will follow.

Villalba Segarra believes the innovation-first company he founded can disrupt the status quo in many industries and solve some of the most significant human problems.

He said, “We’ve already started with privacy. But, there are many more problems to be solved, for example, the climate change.” “We have the chance to make a difference in society in the way we see it.” We want to be the next Unicorn.

Being successful in such a problematic sector requires resilience. Villalba Segarra has faced many difficulties along the way. She was also forced to stop playing rugby because of her potential.

He states, “Everyone is going through problems. No one’s life or career is perfect.”

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Samatha Vale
Samatha a senior writer for HC's entertainment team. She is an entreprenuer, mother and an excellent writer. She's also an avid reader, music enthusiast and all around inquisitive person - which is just a nice way of saying she's nosy.

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