Dropbox - Designing a More Enlightened Way of Working

Sarika Anand Sarika Anand
Jan 14, 2021 8 min read
Dropbox - Designing a More Enlightened Way of Working

Company Profile is an initiative by StartupTalky to publish verified information on different startups and organizations. The content in this post has been approved by the organization it is based on.

A file hosting service, or a cloud storage service, or an online file storage provider, or a cyber-locker is an internet hosting service specifically designed to host user files. It allows users to upload files that could be accessed over the internet after a user name and password or other authentication is provided.

Dropbox is a file hosting service operated by the American company Dropbox, Inc., headquartered in San Francisco, California, that offers cloud storage, file synchronization, personal cloud, and client software.

Dropbox - Company Highlights

Startup Name Dropbox, Inc.
Headquarters San Francisco, California, United States
Industry Cloud Storage, File Handling, Software
Founded June 2007
Founders Drew Houston
Area Served Worldwide
Website www.dropbox.com

Dropbox - About and How it Works?
Dropbox - Recent News
Dropbox - Logo and its Meaning
Dropbox - Founder and History
Dropbox - Mission
Dropbox - Business Model
Dropbox - Revenue and Growth
Dropbox - Funding and Investors
Dropbox - Investments
Dropbox - Acquisitions
Dropbox - Competitors
Dropbox - Challenges Faced
Dropbox - Future Plans
Dropbox - FAQs

Dropbox - About and How it Works?

Dropbox (formerly known as Evenflow) is a company that provides a cloud storage and collaboration platform. It offers a range of collaboration, editing, document management, and synchronization tools for individuals and business teams.

Its solution enables users to keep files organized and synced across devices, share presentations, designs, and different files. The Company offers a platform that enables users to store and share files, photos, videos, songs, and spreadsheets. Dropbox serves customers worldwide.

Dropbox has been ranked as one of the most valuable startups in the US and the world, with a valuation of over US$10 billion, and it has been described as one of Y Combinator's most successful investments to date. However, Dropbox has also experienced criticism and generated controversy for issues including security breaches and privacy concerns.

Dropbox - Recent News

As of November 2020, Dropbox introduced the new Dropbox spaces. Dropbox Spaces was designed to solve some problems. The customers have always counted on Dropbox to make file sharing and organization easy. Now, with Spaces, the team is extending that core capability to make project collaboration easier for teams.

Since its introduction last year, Spaces has evolved to become a standalone, virtual workspace. The new Spaces brings projects and teams together so you can collaborate efficiently from kickoff to delivery.

Dropbox - Logo and its Meaning

The Dropbox logo, which has become iconic by today, was first introduced in 2008. As its name suggests, the logo consists of an open box that provides a cloud storage and collaboration platform.

Company Logo of Dropbox
Company Logo of Dropbox

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Dropbox - Founder and History

Dropbox founder Drew Houston conceived the Dropbox concept after repeatedly forgetting his USB flash drive while he was a student at MIT.

Founder of Dropbox
Founder of Dropbox

In a 2009 "Meet the Team" post on the Dropbox blog, he wrote that existing services at the time "suffered problems with Internet latency, large files, bugs, or just made me think too much". He began making something for his personal use, but then realized that it could benefit others with the same problems.

Houston founded Evenflow, Inc. in May 2007 as the company behind Dropbox, and shortly thereafter secured seed funding from Y Combinator. Dropbox was officially launched at 2008's TechCrunch Disrupt, an annual technology conference. Owing to trademark disputes between Proxy, Inc. and Evenflow, Dropbox's official domain name was "getdropbox.com" until October 2009, when it acquired its current domain, "dropbox.com". In October 2009, Evenflow, Inc. was renamed to Dropbox, Inc.

Dropbox - Mission

Dropbox's mission statement says, "Our mission is to design a more enlightened way of working."

Dropbox - Business Model

Dropbox uses a freemium business model, where users are offered a free account with a set storage size, with paid subscriptions available that offer more capacity and additional features. Accordingly, Dropbox's revenue is a product of how many users they can convert to their paid services.

Dropbox Basic users are given two gigabytes of free storage space. This can be expanded through referrals; users recommend the service to other people, and if those people start using the service, the user is awarded with additional 500 megabytes of storage space. Dropbox Basic users can earn up to 16 gigabytes through the referral program.

Dropbox Business is Dropbox's application for corporations, adding more business-centered functionality for teams, including collaboration tools, advanced security and control, unlimited file recovery, user management and granular permissions, and options for unlimited storage. For large organizations, Dropbox offers Dropbox Enterprise, the "highest tier" of its product offerings, adding domain management tools, an assigned Dropbox customer support member, and help from "expert advisors" on deployment and user training.


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Dropbox - Revenue and Growth

Dropbox revenue for the twelve months ending September 30, 2020 was $1.856B, a 16.63% increase year-over-year.

Year Amount Percentage Change from Last Year
2019 $1.661B +19.37%
2018 $1.392B +25.78%
2017 $1.107B + 31.01%

Dropbox - Funding and Investors

Dropbox has raised a total of $1.7B in funding over 10 rounds. Their latest funding was raised on Mar 30, 2017 from a Debt Financing round. Dropbox is funded by 38 investors. JP Morgan Chase and RBC Capital are the most recent investors.

Date Round Amount Lead Investors
Mar 30, 2017 Debt Financing $600M JP Morgan Chase
May 1, 2015 Secondary Market - -
May 23, 2014 Secondary Market - -
Apr 6, 2014 Debt Financing $500M JPMorgan Partners
Jan 24, 2014 Series C $350M BlackRock
Oct 18, 2011 Series B $250M Index Ventures
Jan 1, 2011 Funding Round - -
Nov 24, 2008 Series A $6M Sequoia Capital
Sep 4, 2007 Seed Round $1.2M -
Jun 1, 2007 Seed Round $15K Y Combinator

Dropbox - Investments

Dropbox has made 3 investments. Their most recent investment was on Sep 25, 2019, when BetterCloud raised $5M.

Date Organization Name Round Amount
Sep 25, 2019 BetterCloud Corporate Round $5M
Jun 3, 2019 Onna Series A $11M
Mar 10, 2016 Volley Labs Seed Round $2.3M

Dropbox - Acquisitions

Dropbox has acquired 26 organizations. Their most recent acquisition was HelloSign on Jan 28, 2019. They acquired HelloSign for $230M.

Acquiree Name Date Amount About Acquiree
HelloSign Jan 28, 2019 $230M HelloSign offers fast, secure, and legally binding eSignatures for businesses.
Verst Nov 30, 2017 - Verst is an all-in-one website and online publishing platform.
Sparks May 1, 2016 - Sparks develops a platform that enables users to create memes on mobile.
Clementine Jul 22, 2015 - Clementine is built by a passionate team of enterprise, mobile, and telephony technologists.
Umano May 13, 2015 - Umano is an audio streaming service
Pixelapse Jan 26, 2015 - Pixelapse is the best place to share designs and work together. We build tools to improve the design process and make collaboration easier.
CloudOn Jan 21, 2015 $100M CloudOn provides cloud-based storage solutions for users to create, review, and share files from any device.
Predictive Edge Jul 1, 2014 - Predictive Edge is a web platform that empowers marketers for e-commerce personalization, testing and targeting.
Parastructure Jun 16, 2014 - Parastructure builds beautiful data analysis software powered by cutting-edge open source infrastructure.
MobileSpan Jun 10, 2014 - MobileSpan helps enterprises transition from a desktop-centric system to a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) world.

Dropbox - Competitors

Top competitors of Dropbox are Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, ShareFile, Hightail, Egnyte, Apple iCloud and Zoho Docs.


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Dropbox - Challenges Faced

According to the founder, the challenge was that it was impossible to demonstrate the working software in a prototype form. The product required that they overcome significant technical hurdles; it also had an online service component that required high reliability and availability. To avoid the risk of waking up after years of development with a product nobody wanted, Drew did something Β unexpectedly easy: he made a demo video of Dropbox.

Drew recounted, β€œIt drove hundreds of thousands of people to the website. Our beta waiting list went from 5,000 people to 75,000 people literally overnight. It totally blew us away.”

Dropbox - Future Plans

Houston and his team started to realize that 2020 was going to bring lasting change to the way people work. Change that would stick around, in some form, long after the pandemic ended. And they felt like Dropbox needed to lead the charge in figuring that out.

In October, Dropbox announced it was rethinking its whole workplace structure. Instead of requiring everyone to go to the office, it was becoming a "Virtual First" company. That comes with three big changes.

First: Dropbox's offices are turning into "Dropbox Studios," places people can go to meet or collaborate or just hang out with their colleagues (but most work will get done at home).

Second: The 9-5 workday is going away. Instead, Dropbox employees will be able to work flexible hours, with a window of time in the middle of the day when everyone is expected to be available.

Third: Dropbox, like practically every other company on the planet, is rethinking the tools it uses for most parts of the business, from communications to HR to productivity. It's trying to do it in an open way, too, building a Virtual First Toolkit for everyone to see and adapt.

Dropbox - FAQs

Who founded Dropbox?

Drew Houston founded Dropbox.

What does Dropbox do?

Dropbox is a company that provides a cloud storage and collaboration platform. It offers a range of collaboration, editing, document management, and synchronization tools for individuals and business teams.

How does Dropbox make money?

Dropbox uses a freemium business model, where users are offered a free account with a set storage size, with paid subscriptions available that offer more capacity and additional features. Accordingly, Dropbox's revenue is a product of how many users they can convert to their paid services.

What are the alternatives to Dropbox?

Top competitors of Dropbox are Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, ShareFile, Hightail, Egnyte, Apple iCloud and Zoho Docs.

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