How Much is Dropbox Worth?
Posted 27 November 2013
You may well be familiar with Dropbox, the file sharing and cloud storage service. Dropbox allows you to access your files on the go, share them with friends and colleagues and ensure that important documents are always backed up. With 200 million users, a 20-fold increase since 2010, Dropbox has a large and growing user base.
In recent years we’ve seen a number of web and tech start-ups achieving remarkable valuations, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Facebook have themselves offered $3 billion for photo-sharing app Snapchat and Pinterest’s latest stock flotation has valued it at a whopping $3.8 billion, even though neither currently has the means to generate revenue.
However, whilst these start-ups have generally tended to be social networks, Dropbox is something quite different. Equally functional for business and personal users, Dropbox has already raised $257 million in funding from investors.
Whilst the vast majority of the company’s 200 million users hold free accounts, it is Dropbox’s business services which have the potential to become particularly lucrative. With a comprehensive file recovery functionality, 1000GB storage as standard and a wide range of high-security collaborative uses, Dropbox charges businesses $795/year for 5 users.
In light of the company’s continued growth it is no surprise to hear that Dropbox’s latest flotation will see it valued in excess of $8 billion.
Whilst Dropbox’s flotation is perhaps a little easier to grasp than the valuation of certain social media websites, it is nevertheless a vast sum for a company which is only 5 years old. This is further evidence that the technological sector is increasingly lucrative, particularly for companies which are able to gather vast user bases.
In light of these figures, it’s worth asking what we can we learn from the huge valuations achieved by tech start-ups?
1. Tech is Valuable
It goes without saying that tech is extremely valuable. This impacts the way that we do business, invest in other businesses and spend our hard-earned cash. This is true even where the platform in question doesn’t directly generate revenue. Pinterest is valuable because it has a huge user-base; using Pinterest can help your business because it can help to broaden your audience and reach new customers.
2. Business is Changing
Whilst businesses have been investing in technology and software for several decades, the format is changing. Cloud-based packages are increasingly common, with companies like Adobe moving towards annual licensing of software. This is generally very beneficial for smaller companies who can access effective, low-cost technical solutions. Dropbox is a great example of this.
3. Time is Money
You’ll notice that we’re seeing more and more apps which enable us to integrate, communicate and share data. The emphasis is on saving both time and money. We’re also paying for services which previous generations would consider pointless (Evernote, for example) in order to help us organise our business and personal lives more effectively.
4. Change is Constant
Whilst it’s tempting to think that we’re embracing the latest technologies by using the likes of Facebook, Dropbox and Evernote, the reality is that in the technological age change is the only constant. By preparing to continually change and adapt we position ourselves to use technology effectively in growing our businesses and continuing to stay ahead of the field.