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25-Year Tech Veteran and Venture Capitalist, Mark Ashida, Joins Symform as CEO

Company Strengthens Go-to-Market & Product Strategy Focusing on Small Business and Prosumers; Taps Ashida to Bolster Management Team Including Hire of Omri Gazitt as SVP of Product Development

SEATTLE, WA -- (Marketwire) -- 01/23/13 -- Symform, a revolutionary, distributed cloud backup service, today appointed Mark Ashida, former managing director at OVP Venture Partners and Symform board member, as CEO. Ashida takes over the helm from Matthew J. Schiltz, who is pursuing new opportunities. The Symform board of directors and executive team agreed to leadership adjustments to execute on its aggressive 2013 plan and support the company's long-term vision. As CEO of Symform, Ashida will strengthen the company's management team and drive continued momentum of its award-winning Cloud Storage Network.

The company also announced today the appointment of 13-year Microsoft veteran, Omri Gazitt, as senior vice president (SVP) of product development. Symform also recently hired Bob DeSantis as SVP of global sales and business development, who joined the company with more than 25 years of technology industry leadership.

Symform's addition of Ashida, Gazitt and DeSantis comes as the company is sharpening its focus on small business users and prosumers and strengthening its strategic OEM and private label partnerships. The company is also implementing an aggressive product roadmap and further global expansion. In 2012, Symform achieved record-breaking growth, expanding to 160 countries and seven billion data fragments stored in its distributed cloud network, while securing partnerships with three of the leading Network-Attached-Storage (NAS) vendors (NetGear, QNAP and Synology), who together shipped over 40 percent of entry-level NAS units globally, according to Gartner. Last week, Symform announced a strategic investment from Second Century Ventures (the venture fund of the National Association of REALTORS®).

"Since becoming a founding investor in Symform, I've been bullish on the company's disruptive storage technology and innovative business model and believe Symform is well-positioned to capitalize on the burgeoning prosumer and small-business markets for cloud storage and backup," said Ashida. "After participating on the board for four years, I feel even more strongly about Symform and where it is headed over the next few years. Given its success to date, the company is attracting top-tier talent and I'm committed to creating a leadership team that will accelerate our growth as we capitalize on a tremendous market opportunity."

Ashida is a 25-year technology veteran who held CEO and COO roles at several prominent startups, and serves on the board of numerous Pacific Northwest companies. Supporting Symform through three rounds of financing, Ashida specializes in SaaS, security, networking and storage technologies. For the past 15 years, he has proven experience scaling startups to fast-growing and successful businesses, serving as CEO at PassEdge Corporation (acquired by InterTrust Technologies in 2000) and COO at InterTrust Corporation (sold to Sony and Philips for $450 million in 2002).

In his newly established role of SVP of product development, Gazitt will work closely with CTO and co-founder Bassam Tabbara to accelerate Symform's innovation and product delivery. Gazitt joins Symform after a successful career at Microsoft and as an entrepreneur. He most recently served as co-founder and CEO of BuiltSteady, and spent 13 years at Microsoft in roles ranging from architect to general manager. At BuiltSteady, he created a web and mobile personal assistant product for consumers. His tenure at Microsoft included roles as a GM of the .NET teams responsible for Web Services, XML, Communications, Workflow, Transactions, Data Access, and Modeling. Gazitt also contributed to Visual Studio, Windows Server, Windows Azure and the 2011 release of Xbox and Kinect.

"My passion lies in shipping great products, and I'm eager to begin working with a really talented development team at Symform," said Gazitt. "I'm excited about delivering on Symform's mission of building the world's largest virtual data center and cloud storage network."

About Symform
The Symform Cloud Storage Network is a better way to store and backup all of your data. As the world's first distributed and crowdsourced free online storage, Symform enables users to pay with bytes instead of bucks. Every business on the network contributes excess local drive space to the grid in exchange for secure, fast and reliable cloud data backup. Before data leaves the source device, it is encrypted and shredded, redundancy added, and then geo-distributed across the global network. With its proprietary and patented technology, Symform is building the world's largest virtual datacenter using existing Internet infrastructure. Go to or email [email protected] for more information.

Symform, Symform Global Cloud Storage Network, the Resilient Storage Architecture, and RAID-96 are trademarks of Symform, Inc. References to other companies and their products acknowledge the trademarks owned by their respective companies and are for reference purposes only.

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Lindsey Bradshaw
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