Dropbox launches Dropbox for Teams; Courts businesses

Dropbox doesn't actively track consumer vs. business accounts but out of 1 billion files, "100s of millions" have formats---.PDF, .XLSX, .PPTX---associated with enterprise use.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Dropbox on Thursday will launch a business service dubbed Dropbox for Teams. The effort adds features to capitalize on the fact many businesses have already been using Dropbox.

The company has been on a roll of late. Last week, Dropbox raised $250 million in funding from the likes of Benchmark Capital, Goldman Sachs, Greylock Partners, Institutional Venture Partners, RIT Capital Partners, and Valiant Capital Partners. Those firms joined early investors Sequoia Capital and Accel Partners. Dropbox said it will use the money to grow, hire, acquire companies and forge partnerships.

Now Dropbox for Teams is likely to grow the company's base of 45 million users, which save 1 billion files every three days. Dropbox doesn't actively track consumer vs. business accounts but out of 1 billion files, "100s of millions" have formats---.PDF, .XLSX, .PPTX---associated with enterprise use.

According to Sujay Jaswa, vice president of business development and sales at Dropbox, and ChenLi Wang, team lead of business and sales operations, Dropbox for Teams makes it easier for enterprises to buy the service and get more visibility into usage.

"We started out as a tool to share code and photos, but users brought Dropbox to work," explains Jaswa. "To Dropbox, there is just one market for users."

While Dropbox is a poster child for consumerization, Wang realizes that the company had to make it easier for enterprises to buy.

Among the key points for Dropbox for Teams:

  • The service will be priced $795 for five users a year. Beyond that point, it's $125 per extra user and 200 GB of storage. Typically, businesses would collaborate and share files via individual Dropbox accounts. The accounting and tracking could quickly get out of hand for larger companies.
  • Teams get one Dropbox account for business use.
  • Storage is unlimitedgenerous. "Businesses told us they don't want to worry about users and storage," said Wang. Update: Dropbox said storage isn't unlimited. The official line is: "If customers need more space, Dropbox looks forward to working with them and expanding their storage at no additional cost where reasonable.  In other words, while Dropbox for Teams will offer "as much storage as you need," this is not unlimited storage."
  • Businesses get a dashboard to administrate Dropbox accounts, add and delete users.

  • Dropbox for Teams supports mobile devices and instantly syncs across shared folders. HTC is including Dropbox along with its Android devices going forward.
  • The focus is primarily on small and mid-sized businesses as well as teams within large companies.
  • Dropbox for Teams includes phone support.

There aren't different security and privacy levels for Dropbox. Wang noted that companies are already using the service and feel it's secure enough. Wang said security and privacy "are the table stakes" to be in the business.

Wang said the feature roadmap for Dropbox for Teams is undetermined, but the company is focused on simplicity. "We're not doing anything fancy," said Wang. The key feature for Dropbox is that it just works and is fast.

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