Dropbox passes 45m users and receives $257.2m in funding

File-sharing platform Dropbox has confirmed some exciting news concerning its future. The service has managed to squeeze another massive round of funding from investors. Leading the money dumping was Index Ventures, though Dropbox managed to gain investments from other major companies, including Goldman Sachs. Supposedly the company was offered a 'nine-digit' sum by Apple, back in late 2009, though they refused to be bought out.

More food for thought comes from the company's proclamation that, for every three days, users save one billion files in total to the Dropbox servers. The company also claims to have surpassed 45,000,000 active users, and could as much as triple its userbase in the next year. Dropbox's main competitor, Box.net, also confirmed having raised a total capital of $162 million. However, the Box.net funds are considerably smaller than those of Dropbox. According to a source with TechCrunch the company could be worth up to $4 billion.

The company has reported that it intends to use the money for acquisitions, strategic partnerships, and adding new members to its development team to drive it further forwards. The official press release is as follows:

Dropbox Raises $250 Million in Series B Funding

More than 45 Million Users Saving One Billion Files Every Three Days

Dropbox, a service that lets people bring their documents, photos and videos everywhere and share them easily, announced today that it has completed a $250 million Series B financing. The company will use the funds to accelerate its rapid growth, make acquisitions, pursue strategic partnerships, and grow the team. Dropbox has more than 45 million users saving one billion files every three days, and is on track to triple its user base in 2011.

The financing was led by Index Ventures and includes participation from new investors Benchmark Capital, Goldman Sachs, Greylock Partners, Institutional Venture Partners, RIT Capital Partners, and Valiant Capital Partners. Early investors Sequoia Capital, Accel Partners, and Hadi and Ali Partovi also participated. Dropbox has received a total of $257.2 million in funding.

“Our goal has always been to build a service that hundreds of millions of people would love and trust. We’re inspired by the consumers and businesses who depend on Dropbox, and we will continue to make sure that the world’s devices, services, and apps work together seamlessly,” said Drew Houston, co-founder and CEO of Dropbox. “We’re thrilled to have such world-class investors joining forces with us.”

“We are delighted to have led this financing and believe Dropbox has the potential to become an iconic technology company,” said Danny Rimer, general partner at Index Ventures. “Over the past four years, Dropbox’s talented team has created a great service with a very strong business model, and we look forward to helping the company build upon this outstanding foundation.”

About Dropbox

The mission of Dropbox is to simplify life for people around the world. Dropbox lets people bring their docs, photos and videos everywhere and share them easily. The service has more than 45 million users in 175 countries saving one billion files every three days. Dropbox was founded in San Francisco in 2007 by Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi and has received a total of $257.2 million in funding.

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I still have trouble finding a way that DropBox offers even a tiny feature that isn't available from better solutions like Microsoft Live/Skydrive that have more space and are free.

Edited by thenetavenger, Oct 19 2011, 3:53am :

Okay, to the people who wonder why anyone would use Dropbox over services offered by Google or Microsoft, I have this to say:

I really wish Google or Microsoft offered a service that does compare to Dropbox. In other words, a small application that runs in the system tray and keeps a folder ON MY COMPUTER synchronized with the cloud, plus any other computers (PC or Mac) that run this application. And also, offer an Android app which can access and modify these files.

I mean, I'm always amazed at just how well Dropbox works. I can be writing an application in C# at work, and every time I compile or click Save, BOOM: The whole whole project is synchronized with my home computers as well. In the evening at home I can tinker with the application some more, and the next morning at work, all the changes I made are sitting right there on my computer. Oops! If saved a change that I don't like, I can just access Dropbox's simple and elegant website to revert the file to an earlier version.

There's just all kinds of great things you can do with a folder on your computer that stays synchronized with other computers. And mobile phone access to this folder makes it even better.

Hmm... no-ones mentioned Windows Live Mesh yet? 5GB storage vs 2GB with dropbox?! I was going to give dropbox a go earlier this year, but then there were all those security issues with dropbox allowing users into accounts without passwords (http://www.neowin.net/news/dro...accounts-without-a-password), which put me right off their service!

Other than the fact that Mesh doesn't yet have a mobile client... what actually makes dropbox better than Mesh??

GreatMarkO said,
Hmm... no-ones mentioned Windows Live Mesh yet? 5GB storage vs 2GB with dropbox?! I was going to give dropbox a go earlier this year, but then there were all those security issues with dropbox allowing users into accounts without passwords (http://www.neowin.net/news/dro...accounts-without-a-password), which put me right off their service!

Other than the fact that Mesh doesn't yet have a mobile client... what actually makes dropbox better than Mesh??

+1. Love Mesh, love Skydrive. Sad no one seems to know about any of them!

It's such a shame their corporate offering isn't as good as Box.net is I love dropbox and use it personally ( http://db.tt/5Sp87mO ), however had to go with Box.net for work after an extensive evaluation.

One of the pain points with both services is that you're limited to a single account. No way to sign into multiple accounts (one work, one personal).

The desktop software is much better with Dropbox, but the Box.net corporate accounts have so much more to offer than dropbox for teams.

With Dropbox, you could create a work account and a home account, and then share a single folder between them. That's how I synchronize files between home and work, yet prevent my work Dropbox from being able to access my personal files. If Dropbox would add a feature to password-protect the "Selective Sync" menu in the application, then I could just go with one account.

MidnightDevil said,
Because... Dropbox is free and Google Corp. isn't?
Indeed. Google Cop. is worth over $170 billion.

i guess no one has ever used Google Corporate Apps. Dropbox is a speck of dust compared to the power of Google apps in terms of cloud computing. I am not sure how sharing 2gb of files is so amazing...

the420kid said,
i guess no one has ever used Google Corporate Apps. Dropbox is a speck of dust compared to the power of Google apps in terms of cloud computing. I am not sure how sharing 2gb of files is so amazing...

Considering that Google Apps/Corp is a spec of dust compared to Microsoft Live (Office Online, Skydrive, Office365, etc), that is really saying something...

I have always wondered how they made their money… I mean, everyone I know has a free account, and they're using all their storage space (2-4 GB). That's a lot of server storage, and a lot of bandwidth…

Maybe the fundings explain part of it...

PyX said,
I have always wondered how they made their money… I mean, everyone I know has a free account, and they're using all their storage space (2-4 GB). That's a lot of server storage, and a lot of bandwidth…

Maybe the fundings explain part of it...

As it has been explained numerous times, they sell additional space for a monthly fee and they also do deals with businesses/groups for more organised storage. Plenty of money to be earnt there considering Dropbox is (to me) the only cloud service that does things right.

dropbox is really one of the best cloud app out there. I'm thinking why others try to make service like music cloud, docs cloud and keep them separate. Just leave us some storage and we will do what we want If anyone has a good reason to keep them separate, reply this comment, I really want to know.

...Or... or... use a couple of more emails to have two other accounts if needed
If I had the money to spend on online storage, I could think about it. But not atm.

oceanmotion said,
So, what is there revenue stream ?

Business after all, how are they going to make money ?

They sell more storage beyond the free 2GB account. They also have a business-oriented product that allows for some more functionality in dealing with multiple users.

More space would be nice, even though it's one of the best cloud services around far as I know, bringing friends over only adds 250mb (either by refer or 5 in total, not sure now).
I use dropbox, it's handy and works and far as I've used them never had a downtime.

MidnightDevil said,
More space would be nice, even though it's one of the best cloud services around far as I know, bringing friends over only adds 250mb (either by refer or 5 in total, not sure now).
I use dropbox, it's handy and works and far as I've used them never had a downtime.

It's 250MB per referral, and 500MB if you register a university address at dropbox.com/edu.