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Dropbox

Dropbox

Dropbox is a file sharing and productivity startup created by Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi in 2007.

Dropbox is a company that offers platforms for users to store and share files as well as collaborate on projects. It was established in 2007 by Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi. The company reported a revenue of $1.39 billion in 2018. The company has acquired 25 companies by January 2019, some which have been developed to become parts of Dropbox’s services, such as Orchestra Inc. (Mailbox) and Hackpad (Paper). As of 2019, Dropbox has operated as a public company. Dropbox is based in San Francisco, California, United States.

Products & service

Dropbox’s main service is its file storage, sharing, and collaboration platform, which is available on mobile (iOS and Android) and desktop applications (Linux, macOS, and Windows), alongside a web-based service. Since its official release in 2008, new individual users will receive 2GB of storage for free. Dropbox also offers paid storage subscription for businesses, allowing multiple users to operate using a business account, equipped with enterprise-grade security and team-based collaboration tools. Since 2017, Dropbox also operates Paper, a collaborative tool for document editing by multiple users.

Infrastructure
Dropbox File Management
Overview of Dropbox's infrastructure for files

Each file uploaded to Dropbox are secured in blocks at a separate server before being transferred into the storage servers. All files are encrypted with a unique cipher during processing in the block servers. When content in files are modified, the changed information would be transmitted to the block server prior to being sent to storage. Files in Dropbox contain metadata – which are basic information such as date uploaded and modified as well file names – where they would be kept on a separate metadata server for database purposes. Any changes to files – deletion, modification, or otherwise – would be alerted to users with file access through the notification service. Dropbox maintains its own data storage servers called Magic Pocket where around 90% of users’ files are kept, although until 2016, the company exclusively used Amazon Web Services’ cloud storage.

Dropbox Paper
Overview of Dropbox Paper's infrastructure

For its Paper service, Dropbox operates a separate system for the storage and retrieval of uploaded documents. The Paper Application Servers function as a location to process user requests in regards to the document, alongside alerting the users with access of any modification to the document. When documents are in static states, they are stored in the paper database.

Images that are either embedded or uploaded to the documents are managed separately from the document servers, where they are hosted in the Paper Image Servers. When document images need to be displayed, the image data from Paper Image Servers would be transmitted to the user through the encrypted Paper Image Proxy Service.

Security
Admin and user management

Dropbox provides multiple level of administrator privileges for organizations with more complex file authorization structures. In general, all Dropbox Business administrator accounts – be it Standard, Advanced, Enterprise, and Education – have control over sharing permissions; password set-up; web session period; remote wipe as well as user creation, suspension, and deletion. Dropbox also allows single sign-on (SSO) login methods through their API integrations. To increase security levels, the company provides a two-step verification for Dropbox logins that can be enabled by all Dropbox administrators and users.

Data protection

Dropbox uses Transport Layer Security (TLS) exclusively for data transfer from between servers or between device to servers. When at rest, all data are stored in multiple data centers equipped with 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). Dropbox Paper documents use the same security standard, though it is not stored in data centers; it is instead managed by third-party providers.

Funding

Before its IPO in 2019, Dropbox managed to raise a total funding of $1.7 billion through nine rounds, with its last round being a debt financing held on March 2017. This round managed to amass $600 million financed by six investors. In total, since its first seed round in 2007, 37 investors have contributed capital to Dropbox. Previous investors include JP Morgan Chase, RBC Capital, Deutsche Bank, Macquarie Group, and Goldman Sachs.

Timeline

March 16, 2021
Dropbox launches a password manager as part of its paid Dropbox plans.
December 17, 2020
Issuu partners with Dropbox to organize design assets and publish faster.

May 2020
Dropbox announced its first profitable quarter in May 2020, driven in part by a increased online work during the coronavirus pandemic.
2020
Dropbox ranks #1 on G2's 'Top 100 Best Software Companies' 2020 list
September 26, 2019
Dropbox launches Spaces, a desktop app that aims to improve team collaboration.
March 23, 2018
Dropbox begins its initial public offering (IPO).

Dropbox starts trading at NASDAQ, closing at $28.48 per share on March 23rd.

January 30, 2017
Dropbox officially releases Paper.

Dropbox launches Paper, a document collaboration application which has been in development since October 2015.

December 7, 2015
Dropbox announces discontinuation of Carousel and Mailbox.

Dropbox ceases operations and development for Carousel and Mailbox applications and merged several of Carousel features to Dropbox's application.

April 9, 2014
Dropbox launches Mailbox for Android and Carousel.

Dropbox launches an Android version of Mailbox, the iOS-based email client application and Carousel, the photo storage application.

October 2011
Dropbox raises a $250,000,000 series B round from Benchmark Capital, Goldman Sachs, Greylock Partners, Index Ventures, Institutional Venture Partners, RIT Capital Partners and Valiant Capital Partners.
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Funding rounds

People

Name
Role
LinkedIn

Adam Smith

Investor

Aditya Agarwal

Investor

AF Square

Investor

Alex Gezelius

Investor

Alexander Davis

Investor

Alexander Wolfson

Investor

Andrew Chen

Advisor

Anthony Saleh

Investor

Arash Ferdowsi

Co-Founder

Bakhyt Nurdavletov

Investor

Betty Kayton

Investor

Bobby Yazdani

Investor

Bryan Johnson

Investor

Bryan Schreier

Board member

Charles Azrak

Investor

Chris Siglin

Investor

Daniel Broukhim

Investor

Dara Akbarian

Investor

Dave Goldberg

Investor

Dave Morin

Investor

David Finazzi

Investor

Dhari Al-Abdulhadi

Investor

Diego Berdakin

Investor

Drew Houston

Co-Founder

Eric Graham

Investor

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Further reading

Title
Author
Link
Type
Date

Dropbox Business Security A Dropbox Whitepaper

Dropbox

Document

Dropbox Chief to Join Elite Ranks of Idea-to-I.P.O. Founders

Nellie Bowles

Web

March 10, 2018

How two strangers set up Dropbox and made billions

Will Smale

Web

July 16, 2018

Inside Dropbox's Identity Overhaul

Scott Rosenberg

Web

January 30, 2017

Documentaries, videos and podcasts

Title
Date
Link

Drew Houston -- The Billionaire Founder of Dropbox (#334)

August 27, 2018

Dropbox CEO talks about how he went from rejecting Steve Jobs to an $11 billion IPO (DBX)

March 23, 2018

How Dropbox Became The Startup Steve Jobs Wished To Own - with Drew Houston - Mixergy

December 21, 2011

The Other Guy Who Built Dropbox | Forbes

July 29, 2015

Companies

Company
CEO
Location
Products/Services

News

Title
Author
Date
Publisher
Description
Alex Wilhelm
June 3, 2021
TechCrunch
What happens to technology companies with slowing growth and a rising focus on profitability before they reached behemoth scale? How much does the market value hyper-growth?
Flexify.IO
June 3, 2021
www.prnewswire.com:443
/PRNewswire/ -- The Flexify.IO multi-cloud migration service announced integration of support for Dropbox, complementing its list of storage providers. Flexify....
Will Daniel
June 2, 2021
markets.businessinsider.com
Dropbox stock soared as much as 8% on Wednesday after WSJ reported that Elliott Management has a 10% stake in the cloud storage company.
Shira Ovide
June 2, 2021
www.nytimes.com
We miss out when we ignore the companies that are neither clear winners nor flat-out disasters.
Sophia Kunthara
May 12, 2021
Crunchbase News
The Boston-based startup aims to streamline content in the real estate industry, helping agents get photos and other types of content where it needs to go.
Suzanne Humphries
May 11, 2021
www.reviewgeek.com
Google Photos offers free unlimited photo storage, which we love. However, this convenient (and wallet-friendly) service will cease at the end of May, leaving many wondering what the best alternatives for Google Photos are. Lucky for you, we found 'em.
FinSMEs
May 6, 2021
FinSMEs
About | Advertise | Contact | Disclaimer | News | The Daily Deal Newsletter FinSMEs.com by FinSMEs is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
MaryLou Costa
April 21, 2021
Business Insider
Dropbox let staff re-organize their schedules to maximize productivity. International HR chief Laura Ryan realized hours of meetings had "just built up over time."
DNA Web Team
April 19, 2021
DNA India
Now transfer your Facebook posts, notes to Google Documents, WordPress and Blogger - The social network last year enabled people to transfer their photos and videos to Backblaze, Dropbox, Google Photos and Koofr.
Neesha A. Tambe
April 14, 2021
TechCrunch
Startup Battlefield -- the matriarch of all pitch competitions -- is the stuff of tech legend. Heck, it even played a role in the HBO show, "Silicon Valley," and its influence touches early-stage startups around the globe. Under no circumstance will you find a bigger, better platform for launching your startup to the world. Battlefield [...]
Mark Hachman
March 16, 2021
PCWorld
Dropbox joins the free password manager fray as LastPass limits its own free offerings.
Ian Carlos Campbell
March 16, 2021
The Verge
Dropbox is adding access to its Dropbox Passwords service to free Basic accounts. Passwords are encrypted and sync across three devices, but Dropbox will only allow 50 passwords to be saved for free.
Natasha Mascarenhas
March 12, 2021
TechCrunch
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch's venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. Natasha and Danny and Alex and Grace were all here to chat through the week's biggest tech happenings. Like every week, we had to leave a lot of great stuff on the cutting-room floor. But, we did get to touch on a bunch of [...]
Anthony Ha
March 9, 2021
TechCrunch
Dropbox acquires a secure document-sharing startup, Sonos announces a new speaker and Google makes hotel listings free. This is your Daily Crunch for March 9, 2021. The big story: Dropbox acquires DocSend for $165M Dropbox already acquired electronic signature company HelloSign in 2019. By acquiring DocSend -- which allows customers to share and track documents [...]
Ron Miller
March 9, 2021
TechCrunch
Dropbox announced today that it plans to acquire DocSend for $165 million The company helps customers share and track documents by sending a secure link instead of an attachment. "We're announcing that we're acquiring DocSend to help us deliver an even broader set of tools for remote work, and DocSend helps customers securely manage and [...]
Dave Johnson
March 4, 2021
Business Insider
Dropbox is secure thanks in part to its 256-bit AES encryption, but the service has been hacked in the past.
Carla Mozée
February 19, 2021
markets.businessinsider.com
Dropbox stock fell as the cloud-storage company's fourth-quarter net loss widened on a charge related to its shift to remote work during the pandemic.
Dave Johnson
February 18, 2021
Business Insider
Dropbox is a cloud-based storage service featuring several plans that let you save files and sync them for easy sharing.
Whitson Gordon
February 7, 2021
Wired
Running out of storage for that new game or work files you need to download? Here's how to make some room.
January 29, 2021
WebWire
We're proud to share that Dropbox has received a perfect score on the Corporate Equality Index for the seventh year in a row and has been designated a "Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality" by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). HRC works to ensure that all LGBTQ people, particularly those of us who are trans, people of color, and HIV+, are treated as full and equal citizens around the world. This is the leading report in the US that recognizes workplaces with policies and practices t...
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References

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