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

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.

September 11, 2008

Dropbox's services becomes available for public.

New users receive 2GB storage for free; higher storage capacity requires paid monthly subscriptions.

June 1, 2007

Dropbox is founded by Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi.

They receive seed funding from Y Combinator.

Funding rounds

Funding round
Funding type
Funding round amount (USD)
Funding round date
Investment
Dropbox Series B round October 2011
250,000,000
October 2011
6 Results
Results per page:
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Products

Product
Launch date
Website
Industry
Dropbox Paper
2 Results
Results per page:
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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
Mark Jansen
November 30, 2020
Digital Trends
There are many great apps for managing emails on your iOS device. Here are some of our current favorites to help you organize your inbox on the iPhone or iPad.
Avery Hartmans
November 23, 2020
Business Insider
The pandemic has shifted how many tech companies value in-office work, leading many Bay Area residents to migrate to more affordable cities.
Whitson Gordon
November 20, 2020
Wired
Google's unlimited free storage is going away, but that doesn't mean you're stuck. Here are alternatives for fast, flexible photo storage on all of your devices.
Mark Jansen
November 20, 2020
Digital Trends
Finding all the best Android apps for your device can be a time-consuming task. We've rounded up our top 100 apps, with something for every occasion.
Jon Martindale
November 18, 2020
Digital Trends
Google Drive and Dropbox are two of the best cloud storage services, but which one is best? We compared Google Drive versus Dropbox head to head to find out.
Nathan Ingraham
November 17, 2020
Engadget
It's been a bit over a year since Dropbox first introduced the beta of a product it calls Spaces, which was meant to take the concept of a shared folder full of files and bring it into the modern cloud collaboration era. With coronavirus changing the way people work in significant ways, Dropbox says it has accelerated development and is launching a 2.0 version of Spaces today. The service started out as enhancements to Dropbox's shared folders, but 2.0 can encompass all types of content and tools.
Chris Hoffman
November 13, 2020
How-To Geek
Google Photos has stood out by offering free unlimited storage of "High Quality" photos. That's going away. Starting on June 1, 2021, Google Photos will no longer offer free unlimited storage. Here's what you need to know.
FinSMEs
November 11, 2020
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.
Connie Loizos
November 11, 2020
TechCrunch
Ajay Vashee -- who spent the last eight years at Dropbox, rising from the head of finance to CFO over his tenure and helping to take the company public in 2018 -- is joining the powerhouse venture firm IVP in January. It's the realization of plans established long ago by Vashee, who fell in love [...]
November 11, 2020
WebWire
At Dropbox, we're always looking to hire talented people with integrity and grit--characteristics core to military veterans. It's important to Dropbox that we're intentional about building an inclusive culture, and we should all care about ensuring our veterans go on to great careers after their service."- Drew Houston, Co-founder and CEO, Dropbox For many, 2020 has been far from easy. We've been faced with massive challenges, and many of us have struggled to find ways to cope. In times...
Berber Jin
November 9, 2020
Business Insider
These 100 venture capitalists don't work for the big-name Silicon Valley firms, but are changing the face of early-stage startups.
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols
November 9, 2020
InsiderPro
The future of work is here, and for many of us it's going to be from home.
Jordan Crook
August 25, 2020
TechCrunch
If 2020 hasn't been wild enough, there's an extra special twist going down at Disrupt 2020 beyond the fact that, for the first time ever, the conference will be fully virtual. It also happens to be the show's 10th anniversary. Time flies when you're changing the world, eh? As part of Disrupt's 10th anniversary celebration, [...]
August 5, 2020
WebWire
At Dropbox, we're committed to fighting global warming and reducing our carbon footprint. We're announcing the goals that we plan to accomplish before 2030: , , , , , , • Achieve carbon neutrality for scope 1, scope 2, and scope 3 business travel emissions, , • Source 100% renewable energy for our operations, including our data centers, , • Support organizations working for climate action, , • Mobilize employees to use volunteer-time-off for environmental causes, , , , , , Achieving these goals is more c...
July 30, 2020
WebWire
Managing projects and meeting deadlines was complicated enough before the global health crisis forced us out of our offices. Workers were already struggling to stay focused as they switched between as many as 35 tools per day. Now they have the added challenge of keeping everything organized while making the transition to distributed work. Distributed teams across the globe are relying on eSignatures more than ever to complete contracts while working remotely. That's why we recently la...
Scott Gilbertson
July 25, 2020
Wired
Backups are boring, but they'll save your digital bacon. Here's how to make sure your data lives on even when your PC doesn't.
July 23, 2020
WebWire
Dropbox believes that transparency is imperative to earning and maintaining users' trust. That is why, every six months, we report the number of requests made by governments for user information, the number of accounts subject to those requests, and how we respond. Today we are publishing our latest transparency report which includes data from July to December 2019. Because of our commitment to transparency, we're constantly looking at ways to improve our reports, and in this report, we've...
Kim Komando
July 15, 2020
Fox News
Our cameras take fabulous photos and videos. Our computers tackle data-packed spreadsheets. We can create detailed graphics that look incredible when blown up. But all of that comes with a drawback: huge files.
Glenn Fleishman
June 17, 2020
Macworld
If you migrate to a small drive, you may need to combine cloud methods to make it all work.
Ron Miller
June 16, 2020
TechCrunch
Dropbox has always been about file storage, sharing and collaboration, but it wants to stretch beyond those roots and provide customers, especially those using the Dropbox Plus paid tier with a set of additional capabilities that typically would have involved using third-party products. This includes password management, an online vault and full computer backup. While [...]
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References

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