Dropbox seeks funding, values firm at $8 billion

Dropbox seeks funding, values firm at $8 billion

Summary: According to reports, the file-sharing service is seeking an additional round of investor funding.

TOPICS: Tech Industry

Dropbox is attempting to raise $250 million in funding this year, which would value the firm at $8 billion.

The file-sharing service, used to transfer files across the Web through virtual folders, is looking to raise the funds within the next few weeks, according to Bloomberg. Citing people with knowledge of the matter, the publication says that while Dropbox is yet to use up $250 million generated from its previous funding round in Oct 2011, the firm wants additional capital to expand the corporate side of the business.

In the consumer realm, Dropbox is a popular method for transferring and sharing files for free. The service is available for free, and there is an option to open a premium account -- depending on how much space you require and what additional features you need. To date, over 200 million accounts have been opened.

However, the company wants to gain traction in the business realm. Besieged by rival services including Box and Google Drive, despite Dropbox's rapid growth, consumers may not cut it alone if the firm is going to establish itself and survive long in to the future.

Dropbox spokesperson Ana Andreescu told the publication that the firm currently caters for four million businesses. Earlier this month, the company launched a service aimed directly at corporate users, offering features including unlimited space, sync and file sharing, 256-bit AES and SSL encryption, two-step verification, central control and file recovery for $795 a year for 5 users, and $125 per additional user.

In a blog post announcing the service, founders Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi said:

"On one hand, people wanted to access their personal stuff at work; meanwhile, IT admins wanted to keep company data separate and free of personal files. Both needs were real, but people had to choose between two Dropboxes. It'll be like having your house keys and your work keycard on the same keychain."

While much of this will be useful for businesses to keep their data safe and control what users have access to information, obviously the features and pricing are overboard for the consumer space -- and while that side of the business maintains steady growth, the corporate side will need additional technology to cope with demand, as well as a dedicated sales desk and development team. According to the publication's sources, sales have also slowed as Amazon and Google entered the market with their cloud-storage services.

Dropbox is not the only Silicon Valley startup hustling for attention and funds. Twitter, even though the microblogging platform is making a loss, was valued at more than $20 billion after its debut, while photo-sharer Pinterest has managed to raise additional funds in an investment round that valued the company at $3.8 billion. According to Reuters, Box is set to go public next year.

Topic: Tech Industry

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  • Still not enterprise-class

    From my perspective, it's unlikely that companies will want their employees personal and business Dropbox accounts to be connected. There would always be a possibility of work files ending up in a personal Dropbox account and, in that instance, the new auditing features that have been added would be rendered useless.

    While these new features may work for small businesses, large organizations are still not going feel comfortable having their data shared via Dropbox until its security features are amplified. Enterprises and government agencies need to control where their data is stored and replicated, which has yet to be addressed by Dropbox.

    More info about true enterprise-grade solutions can be found here in the Gartner Marketscope on Enterprise File Sync and Share:http://www.info.accellion.com/gartner-marketscope-enterprise-file-synchronization-sharing-report.html?ms=homepagebanner1113