FoxyUtils’s free online webapps make PDF file manipulation simple

What is the name of your business and URL?

The name of our business is FoxyUtils and our website is http://www.foxyutils.com. All our webapps are available through the site.

A brief synopsis of the website / application?

Our webapps make it easy to work with PDF files, such as merging multiples PDFs, splitting, adding and removing passwords.

Why did you start this company?

The reason was simple. During my undergrad studies, I oftentimes faced the problem of having to merge multiple PDF files and was astonished to find it to be a rather tedious task. I always had to download and install some software just to be able to combine PDF files, which I found to be way too much work for such a simple task! Our goal was to take the operation of merging PDF files and make it simple like it really should be!

Thus we created our first webapp, simply named MergePDF (and accessible at our website) that does just what it’s name indicates, combine PDF files.

Was your company started on a shoestring budget or funded?

It was definitely started with a limited budget. Our idea is to start with something little and grow it up step by step. Thus, we started only with our MergePDF site, hosted by LunarPages on a Windows server. It took us about 2 weeks to create the webapp and getting up and running in the end of 2008. Me and my brother were doing this in the end of 2008.

The webapp was very well received. There was a lot of people out there that appreciated our effort in making PDF merging. Since then we have improved the site, added more services, first SplitPDF in 2010 and then UnlockPDF and ProtectPDF in 2011.

Who is your competition, and what do you do better?

There are now a few other sites that offer merging PDFs, but we were the first which is the reason why googling “merge pdf” brings us up in front of the competition. In addition, our sites have less limits, in file sizes and number of files, than the others, and our site is very fast. For example, our MergePDF limits the size of uploaded files to 50MB, the next site that pops up on google (no names) claims it is free for files up to 15 MB. In addition, we try to make our tools integrated such that when visiting one webapp, our users clearly see a toolbar of our other PDF webapps and thus learn of what other tools we offer. We also encourage users to send us feedback and we have gotten a lot of great comments through our blog that is also linked with each of our webapps.

Why would a small business, entrepreneur, freelancer, etc use your product?

All of the above should find our product useful as PDF manipulation is something that always creeps up in any kind of business where there are usually a lot of documents around, e.g. invoices, receipts, reports and such.

Using our webapps, one does not have to install any software as only a web browser is required. Therefore, our users can access our apps from any computer, at any time at their own convenience. There need not be a special computer with PDF software used for merging PDF files. Thus we make it more flexible and accessible. And it actually works pretty fast too.

In addition, for documents that users need to distribute but want to make certain that only people that know a password can open the document, our service ProtectPDF is ideal. It enables adding password protection to PDF files, such that anyone who wants to open the PDF file needs to know the password!

If on the other hand you loose the original file and want to remove password protection from a PDF file, you can use the UnlockPDF tool. Certain PDF files can even have their password removed without knowing the password, but you can learn more about that by visiting our site.

How could you effectively use these tools?

For example merging invoices that belong to a certain month together can be useful for accounting. Or all invoices from a certain company, or basically any other way that is preferred.

Another example, say you want to distribute only a single chapter of a book to a customer. You can use SplitPDF to extract the chapter into a single PDF file. Then if you want, you can even add password protection to that file with ProtectPDF, if you want to make certain only that user who knows the password can open it.

A short bio of your company:

FoxyUtils’s free online webapps make PDF file manipulation simpleThe company was started by the two brothers Al and Gus Hall in the end of 2008. The first product was MergePDF webapp. The site was very well received and was covered by LifeHacker, Chris Pirillo, MakeUseOf and multiple other big sites. Since then, we have improved the original site, redesigned the look by the help of a contractor that we hired through vWorker.com which provides a great framework for hiring external services. In 2010 we launched SplitPDF to allow users to extract page ranges from PDF files easily. That service was also very well received and we are currently on top of Google for “merge pdf” and “split pdf” keywords.

In late 2011 we launched two more services, Unlock PDF and Protect PDF. These webapps are intended to make it easy to add and remove passwords from PDF files. Many PDFs that are downloaded from the internet have password protection that can be removed with our apps, allowing more flexibility to use those files.

Do you offer free online or offline tools?

Currently we offer four online webapps, MergePDF, SplitPDF, UnlockPDF and ProtectPDF that are accessible for free through our website.

Where can the webapps be accessed?

Here are direct links to our four webapps:

MergePDF: http://www.foxyutils.com/mergepdf

SplitPDF: http://www.foxyutils.com/splitpdf

UnlockPDF: http://www.foxyutils.com/unlockpdf

ProtectPDF: http://www.foxyutils.com/protectpdf

Are there different pricing levels?

All our webapps are free. We do plan on launching a more secure and ad-free service in the near future. Our vision is to keep the pricing simple and have only a single low pricing for all customers.

Do you have a blog that keeps users updated?

Yes, the blog is the first thing that pops up when vising our website, or can be brought up directly at http://foxyutils.com/blog/ Our twitter page URL is http://twitter.com/foxyutils

How long have you been in business?

We have been running since early 2009 and formalized our business into a company in 2010.

Number of current users? Estimated yearly growth?

Currently we have over 100 thousand unique visitors per month. Over the last 6 months we have seen an increase of 20% in visitors. Thus our estimated yearly growth is approximately 40%.

How do you see your company in the next 2-5 years (more products or services?)

We see the company improving the current set of webapps, adding more options including paid options that include secure (https) and ad-free operation and less limits. In addition, we are interested in moving to the mobile market and making our webapps accessible for mobile use.

How many employees do you currently have working with you and/or freelance contractors?

There are currently two of us, me and my brother. Together we handle development of new services, managing and taking care of the business. In addition our father helps us with accounting and taking care of the books. In addition we have in the past outsourced the design of our webapps through vWorker which is a great site for outsourcing projects. We definitely plan to do more contracting as we move forward as we have had great success with that in the past.

What other web based products would you recommend to entrepreneurs, business owners, or freelancers?

vWorker.com is a great site for outsourcing software projects and developing interfaces.

Google Analytics is a great site for keeping track of who is visiting your site, demographics and gives data that we can take into consideration when we decide how to move forward.

Google Adsense is a very good advertising network to bring in revenue for sites that get a lot of traffic. We have found them to be better than other networks that we have tried out. By better, we mean more reliable when it comes to payment and often times less invasive advertisements. For us, it is crucial to design our webapps to optimize the user experience.

 

 

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