Dropbox steps up its international game, eyes native languages

Dropbox, a popular storage service, is launching Spanish, German, French and Japanese editions as it aims to grow its base of customers. Dropbox said Monday that more than 25 million users have saved more than 200 million files.

Dropbox, a popular storage service, is launching Spanish, German, French and Japanese editions as it aims to grow its base of customers. Dropbox said Monday that more than 25 million users have saved more than 200 million files.

While Dropbox's growth has garnered most of the attention, the more interesting thing to note is that the company has a good global game. It's highly likely that Dropbox's move to offer native language support will juice growth more.

The service, which is used to share personal files predominately does have some anecdotal traction among small businesses, is primarily focused on expanding its footprint. Dropbox noted that it has paying customers in more than 175 countries with half of its customers outside of the U.S.

Dropbox was mentioned in our recent SaaS list.

With mobile devices like smartphones and tablets taking off cloud storage services are increasingly handy. Dropbox offers 2GB for free and a Pro account that goes up 100GB of storage.

The company was founded in 2007, raised seed funding from Y Combinator and then landed another $7.2 million in venture capital.

In an interview, Dropbox co-founder Drew Houston noted the following:

  • "Native languages are a really important part of our growth going forward," said Houston. "We have a lot of adoption in Germany, but when you want to share a photo with a grandmother that doesn't know English you need native language support."
  • The company doesn't categorize its customers as business or consumers. "Many start using Dropbox at home and bring it to the office," said Houston, who added that 87 percent of the Fortune 100 has a corporate email address associated with a Dropbox account.
  • These corporate Dropbox accounts may or may not have CIO approval.
  • Dropbox looks at customers as "people and teams." Teams tend to be businesses. People upload personal files such as photos to share. Dropbox has a product devoted to teams in beta.

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