A BlackRock Inc. BLK -0.33% investment fund is leading the deal, which also includes previous backers, said one of these people, who declined to provide more detail.
Dropbox wasn't immediately available to comment.
At $10 billion, Dropbox is one of the most highly valued companies backed by venture capitalists. The company's valuation has more than doubled since late 2011, when investors valued the San Francisco-based company at $4 billion. The company also got a higher price than expected when it approached investors as recently as November.
Dropbox raised $250 million in its 2011 financing from Goldman Sachs and venture-capital firms including Sequoia Capital, Index Ventures and Accel Partners.
The Wall Street Journal previously reported that Dropbox had expected sales of more than $200 million in 2013. The company made $116 million in sales in 2012, according to people familiar with the company's financials, more than doubling its $46 million in revenue in 2011. The year before, it nearly quadrupled sales from $12 million.
--David Benoit contributed to this article.
Even being a company that spends 50k a year gets you next to nothing wrt feature requests or support outside of what would be given to a free user, aside from speed of reply. If you want any level of control over data and sharing, you're sent over to "sookasa", a shambles of a business, or you can look at non-recommended solutions like boxcryptor (an incredible product that unfortunately carries it's own administrative overhead).
If anyone from Dropbox is reading this, the things that make my life the hardest are:
1) removing shared folders from a user's account. (Impossible unless your IT department controls every shared folder in your organization. Difficult & time consuming if they do)
2) Deleting a corporate account from all devices, removing folders. (Impossible)
3) Offering any sort of encryption (need to use 3rd party, unreliable)
4) Managing/reverting changes. Terribly ugly, difficult, and time consuming process. It's bafflingly inefficient, and in an organization of any size clueless or new hires are going to create these problems on a weekly basis.
5) Management and reporting APIs don't exist.
We don't do any of the things you list - not even close - and we don't ever plan to.
We can, however, do this:
pg_dump -U postgres db | ssh email@example.com "dd of=db_dump"
ssh firstname.lastname@example.org s3cmd get s3://rsynctest/mscdex.exe
1) Not only do we let you remove shared folders from a user's account, I designed our remote wipe feature that can go and delete those files from users computers. (It's a best-effort approach.)
2) We also support remote wipe from devices as well.
3) I'm not sure what kind of encryption you're looking for. In general, encryption with cloud storage introduces support difficulties, and makes it hard to do web-based access. We allow you to host your files on your own servers, so that might provide enough security to address your concerns.
4) We do allow reverting a folder to a known date, but you need to contact support.
5) Unfortunately, our APIs aren't public. Our management tools are in use at many large organizations, though.
Dropbox will keep me as a customer purely because my entire business is run on Linux (except for the Mac my business partner uses).
It's interesting to see the changes in the market since when Dropbox pioneered it around 2007 or so.
I think all your points are very solid. I would, however, disagree with you about Dropbox or any other cloud provider implementing their own, in-house, encryption.
They're the one with the data and having the key to open your data as well is, to me, a conflict of interest. I've share my thoughts on this a while back (http://vuongnguyen.com/personal-business-cloud-security.html).
Now, if you haven't had a chance to use nCrypted Cloud, give us a try: http://ncryptedcloud.com. We do client-side encryption and work on top of Dropbox and shortly other cloud providers. We're free for regular consumer. The enterprise clients we have a usually more interested in the integration, management and control mechanisms we have in place.
PS: Please feel free to contact me if I could be of any help. My email is in profile.
Also, notice the phrasing: "With separate Dropboxes for personal and work, administrators can have the control necessary to secure company data, and you can still have your most important stuff at your fingertips." That sounds suspiciously like a sentence that says nothing at all, considering it's already easy to run two dropboxes, and all the problems I listed concern fully administered business accounts.
Remote wipe will be nice though.
My first reaction to this was "How can anything justify this valuation long-term ? It's just cloud storage FFS" Then I found they have revenue of 200m 2013 (through growth rate is slowing). Which actually surprised me - and then I realised that I am getting Dropbox links for people who would previously have mailed me a file.
It's slowly dawning on me that "cloud storage" is likely to be something as ubiquitous as smartphones - everyone will have a small slice. I still suspect 10bn is waaaay over the top, but they are the clear leader in what I revisionist style realise is going to be a big (if frustrating) industry.
Which is weird as I started at Demon Internet and we "gave away" 10MB of web space and stopped in the early naughties as no-one used it or cared :-)
It's not about the storage, it's about the client (be it desktop or web).
Maybe, but "Box" evokes "Dropbox". I saw some ads for Free 50GB of storage on Box! and the very first thing I thought was, Is that slang for Dropbox?
So, with the way Box is immediately reminiscent of Dropbox, that may reduce Box's disadvantage in terms of being a household name. Even though it's a new company, it feels familiar.
This http://www.ipo.gov.uk/tmcase/Results/1/UK00002215537 is a registration of the trademark "box" for the relevant computer and communication classes (inter alia 9, 38, 42) which was filed about 7 years before Box UK filed their application. TBH I can't see how the later one was granted RTM status except that this one appears to be an image mark.
"Box" is widely used as a trademark and other companies are using it in the same class. Box presumably can't make the case for infringement of their mark without also making the case that they're infringing someone else's - Boks™ belonging to a Norwegian company for example. It's pretty generic as a term for storage/term in computing.
That aside Dropbox would only be problematic if there was genuine confusion. For example Box UK had a series of offerings with trademarks using "box" as a suffix. If Dropbox were considered infringing, for example, Xbox would also be infringing as they operate within the same class - Box presumably haven't challenged the use of Xbox [which probably predates their use anyway].
Box is sufficiently generic that further commoditizing the word box as vernacular with respect to online storage would get people to use the word box (all lowercase) associated with Dropbox first.
I wouldn't want to use it for all my files, but I'm setting it up for syncing photos and content to my PCs (i.e. things which are simple and don't get multiple offline edits and the like).
$46m -> $116m (+152%) -> $200m (+72%)
Then again "more than $200m" is probably conservative.
$46m -> $116m (+$70m) -> $200m (+$84m)
100*($200 million / $10 Billion) = 2%
So assuming no growth, the investors are back getting 2% a year? So basically matching inflation...
So does this indicate that the market is split on whether they'll continue to grow or not?
No, because the $200M is revenue. In the long term scenario it's profits which get paid out to shareholders.
The fact that the $10B valuation is 50x revenue implies an extremely high expectation of future growth. They'll look at future earnings potential (profit, not revenue) and try to figure out the probability for Dropbox eventually earning 500m/year, 1b/year, 5b/year etc and discount it according to how long they think it will take them to get there.
Another way to look at it, which is one step removed from valuing on future earnings, is to guess what other people will value it for at IPO. If they think Dropbox has a 50% chance of IPOing at $50B in 2 years, they've made a pretty good bet at the current $10B valuation.
Return on investment would mean that the investors expect the valuation to rise, or that they derive some other kind of profit from owning the shares (sometimes patents, knowledge, influence etc).
I don't think we're disagreeing.
Sure they bought 2% not 100% of the company, but that's not really relevant. The $200M/yr they currently make is I assume profit - which is either payed out as dividends or invested back into the company. It's not really important which ones b/c the two are in the grand scheme of things equivalent. An investment increasing the worth of the company and therefore the worth of their share of it.
I feel like in the end it still represents an expectation of 2% growth...
I'd been on a $20/month plan with Dropbox for a few years now. I recently cancelled down to the free tier because...
* I didn't want to pay more to store/sync even more data.
* All my apps that add great convenience by leveraging Dropbox for sync will work fine and consume just a fraction of the free tier space.
This is actually the "killer" feature right now. If I had to pay to keep this functionality, I'd probably pony right up, but it would be tough to start demanding payment for that.
* Dropbox is actually pretty slow.
Sure, I'm just one person, but their percentage of paying customers has always been small. Just a few years ago, there weren't many if any viable alternatives - now there's a whole slew of them and Dropbox hasn't changed much if any in that span.
Also, since it seems to come up so often. I've seen nothing in the way of moves by or significant interest in Dropbox in the enterprise. Meanwhile, Microsoft is pushing SkyDrive, Google has Drive and Box is stating that they're fully enterprise focused.
The single biggest headache with Dropbox is that it doesn't support multiple accounts. This is a problem when people have both personal and work stuff on the same machine (we do lots of BYOD). There are unreliable hacks for desktop operating systems, but no solution on mobile.
Other than that they want people to individually "subscribe" to shared folders rather than letting the admin set the defaults. This is unpleasant and does not scale well consuming too much people time.
Last on the list would be allowing/using signing in using Google accounts.
They have asked how things are going every six months or so, although I get the vibe the question is more of "what can I upsell you on today" rather than anything that results in any action (so far nothing has happened with any of my feedback from 12 months ago).
I think I was on the $20/month plan. My overall impression of Dropbox was that it was always there when I didn't need it / never really there when I wanted it.
1. Most of the stuff I need to share with myself or others lives in Github.
2. When I want something to sync with my laptop (usually when I'm running out of the house) it's often behind of bunch of other files and means it will have to sync over a mobile connection if I'm going to get it. This usually means using a thumb drive rather than deal with syncing.
3. And this is entirely my fault: I had a handful of older projects in my Dropbox folder that weren't mirrored on Github or anywhere else. When it came time to actually dig one out it turned out that Dropbox had had some manner of sync issue and had renamed dozens of files in my .git folder. It was unusable.
I dropped down to the free plan and uninstalled Dropbox from my laptop. Haven't missed it at all.
Dropbox also had a deploy that disabled password checking. As in, anyone could log into any account because passwords weren't checked. I suppose that's understandable - people make mistakes and sometimes you deploy things you shouldn't.
The problem with Dropbox is that it's too general, too abstract. There are now specialized services that are made for hosting source code, hosting photos, hosting music, hosting scanned documents... and each service is doing it better in its niche than general-purpose tool like Dropbox.
So who needs Dropbox on its own?
I think Dropbox will need to re-invent itself and fast. One way would be to buy other startups that are targeting specific niches and would use Dropbox as persistent storage. This way Dropbox could be offering various apps for free and make money if users run out of their Dropbox space.
Think about it, rather than paying monthly for source code hosting, photo hosting, document hosting, email hosting or whatever service separately as we do it now. All these services could be free as Dropbox apps and once you hit 2 GB limit, you pay for storage you consume as a single monthly fee.
Is this what Dropbox has in mind? Are they raising capital to go on acquisition spree of struggling startups (think Everpix.com) that have great products but not enough traction?
I would love to see that...
I can't say why exactly it is, but I do think that it may be some isolated evidence that Dropbox needs to be careful of customers simply losing interest in it over time. I thought that I needed it much more than I actually did.
The rumors of a Lightroom cloud sync are interesting, and if true, would have my reconsidering my interest (though, adobe does not have great track record for reliable data storage).
If Dropbox would do these services themselves, they could make them free because they make money from storage.
Not only that, Dropbox would effectively lock-in their users into Dropbox platform. Right now it is extremely easy to switch from Dropbox to competitor. Once you start depending on so-called Dropbox apps, you can't leave just as easily.
However, they raised another round? Why?
1. Enterprise, as someone else mentioned. It's still mostly considered a consumer brand, especially as they've focused on features like photo syncing with mobile phone partnerships. They're an ideal fit for enterprises though and still have huge opportunities.
2. An app platform or what I call "Bring Your Own Data" (not unlike App.net and to some extent Evernote). This is a rising paradigm where users own their data and 3rd-party apps hook into it. Instead of the prevailing cloud model where apps and data are silo'd. An early example is Tunebox, which plays and manipulates MP3s within your own Dropbox instead of hosting them on your behalf. Another example is the way 1Password uses Dropbox to sync data instead of doing its own hosting and syncing.
The app platform is really big as developers don't have to think about syncing. Traditionally data sync has been one of the main benefits of the web. But Dropbox API means developers can write rich, native, apps on any platform and assume the syncing "just works".
This is a bit like the other fork in the road that Twitter walked away from, ie to be the underlying cloud infrastructure for apps. (I wouldn't be at all surprised if Dropbox acquired App.Net or similar to provide a powerful pubsub layer too.) Developers focus on making awesome user-interfaces and delegate all the network infrastructure to Dropbox. That's similar to the way developers can use tools like Firebase and Parse, with the key difference that data resides with the user.
They certainly _could_ own the space, but at the moment Box has a vastly superior enterprise offering.
In the enterprise they've got different hurdles and competition.
That would be like Facebook raising money at a $200 billion valuation (currently: $138b).
Dropbox would be insane to turn that down.
One step further is to define a new keyword search type in your browser to perform this redirect for any provided url in the future.
EDIT: Looks like it got deleted.
I'd be curious to know how much of a volume discount they get.
"Keep your friends close, your enemies closer"
I was trying to find a comment on HN where one of the dropbox employees references their datacenter, but my hnsearch-fu wasn't up to par.
"User metadata is stored in the company’s data centers, while the actual files reside on Amazon’s S3 storage service."
So I'm assuming they have determined that S3 is cheaper than their own metal for actual file storage?
With S3, they don't have to physically own enough hard drives to support every user maxing out their allotment. If I started DropBox tomorrow, and a million people signed up for free accounts with 2GB, S3 would cost me $0 at first. As more and more users start to fill up their accounts, it will make more economic sense to migrate in-house (a la Backblaze storage pods).
Whether it makes more sense to bring it in-house depends on some other factors, such as whether Dropbox is willing to cut some corners relative to what S3 provides (i.e. maybe there are S3 features they don't need), and how dedicated to budget trimming their employees really are (some people just don't have the stomach for cutting costs way down, e.g. if they see it as compromising in some way).
I can't imagine why they would. Dropbox dedupes all their data before hitting S3, but Amazon can still leverage their bulk hardware discounts that Dropbox likely isn't big enough to score. Amazon would have the upper hand in such a deal, and I don't see why it would be friendly.
> http://blog.backblaze.com/2013/02/20/180tb-of-good-vibration.... looks like an interesting solution to storage.
AFAIK those boxes are and have usually been tuned for lukewarm or maybe even lukecold storage to cut costs. Dozens of 5400 rpm drives loaded on bare minimal support planes have a genuine rating of Shit for reliable seek times. It's great for backup, when you only expect a small fraction of users to actually make a query and be thankful enough they're pulling down a recovery. For the kind of direction Dropbox wants to take, this is absolutely out of the question.
Once a file is added to your Dropbox, the file is then synced to Dropbox's secure online servers. All files stored online by Dropbox are encrypted and kept securely on Amazon's Simple Storage Service (S3) in multiple data centers located across the United States.
You can find more information about Amazon S3 or learn about Amazon S3’s security measures on the Amazon website.
One thing? They own Heroku, Desk.com, Work.com, and several other companies.
Large businesses are still just entering the cloud with a lot of their software. Salesforce is the company they think of when thinking cloud. There's a lot of power in that.
I have all the projections on my pc, feel free to contact me if you would like to see them.
Microsoft doesn't know how to make a good product in this space. As history has shown, you can always beat Microsoft with a substantially better product (Intuit, Google, iPhone, iPad, Wikipedia, Apache, PS2, iPod, Linux etc).
Google thinks the key is to force users into a bundled scenario. The flaw in their thinking is that most of the individual products in their portfolio are average at best, including their storage solution. There's no true lock-in. Which is why it hasn't killed Dropbox after years of competition (and why G+ has failed).
The only threats to Dropbox are 1) they screw-up their own product; 2) there's a titanic shift in the market itself, enabling a new wave of companies and technologies to dominate 3) a new company creates a better mousetrap, as that's not coming from Google / Microsoft / Apple.
Revenue is closer to $250m for 2013.
Click on the search result and it is non-paywalled
I suspect they will surprise many people - as I had predicted back in 2011 - http://marcgayle.com/2011/01/24/how-dropbox-is-printing-mone...
Much hasn't changed....I don't think.
Been going back and forth with Github support on this issue and keep getting different responses from different people - most of which don't help me fix the issue properly.
Alas...it's a work in progress and I wish I could just do a git push to resolve that issue, but that's not to be.
The only thing I've been wondering is if running a few things at once is a bad idea; Google Drive, Box, Dropbox.
2.) Since Dropbox has it's own directory, I imagine the others are similar. It wouldn't really be feasible because the file wouldn't be the same file across all apps.
Also - I love dropbox as much as anyone, but do they have the numbers to justify a 10B valuation?
p.s: I thought this behavior was against Google's ToS...
First click free is a multilayered Faustian bargain with the traditional print media. It preserves Google's ability to give their users what they want, which is searches which show high-quality, free information, like NYT or WSJ articles. It allows the NYT/WSJ/etc to remain on the only Internet which matters, which is the Internet you find at google.com.
Also, the not-so-subtle threat is that if you fail to implement first-click-free, perhaps because you believe your information is worth paying for, then Google will send navigational searches for your articles to scraper sites.
I don't know but I am always surprised at the people I hear using Dropbox. I always look at it as a techie kind of service but most non-geek business people I interact with use it to share files, family members use it to store photos etc.
That way, I never get support queries from family members wondering where they put something, and it's almost impossible for them to save something in a location that's not backed up. And the backup is immediate and automatic. It's pretty perfect.
If you've got two or more computers, everything's the same everywhere, and you can get to any file on your computer from the cloud.
I know some of this, cloud sync, cloud backup, and cloud access, is possible through combinations of other software, but Dropbox packages it all so well. I don't think it's just for geeks any more.
It's another service that's in the weird space for me where I can't be bothered with it personally, but immediately recommend it to just about everyone else.
You'd better hope they are never hacked.
That's better than some but still seems pretty generous.
While dropbox are of the better services out there it is still open for innovation - there are still pain points to be eliminated. So squashing them may require another startup and not big behemoth.
As with the case of Origin and Windows 8 learned recently - creating something people like is just hard.
1. A novel idea - $1M
2. A neat implementation - $10M
3. A reasonable size of user base (including one-time sign-in users and abandoned users) - $100M
4. Any state-of-the-art technology backed up? No
5. Any innovation which changes the whole industry or UX? No
6. Any system level software design? No
Where does the rest of the value come from? If this kind of system is worth $10B, then how much is AWS worth?
Box is aiming enterprise market which makes more sense, because if they can handle fine-grained user security, that will be a lot different. Basically, corporations need a
SkyDrive + SharePoint (hosted in cloud service)
if they don't want to host data in-house. Are there anything like this existing today?
If Dropbox is worth $10B today, what is that going be worthwhile?
We want to encourage new applications to make users life easier, but to a limited extent. We should encourage more productive inventions instead of being too much bragging on a piece of small app with some new functionality like this.
- Eggs should not be washed.
We should encourage more productive inventions instead of being
too much bragging on a piece of small app
with some new functionality like this.