Chances are, if you work with digital media in any fashion, there's been a moment in your past when you've tried to send a file that's just too large for email. This is the problem Dropbox aimed to solve ever since their launch in 2008. They built a company around online storage well before the word cloud was in anyone's vocabulary. And they successfully built one of the first prominent players in cloud computing -- long before Google or Apple or Microsoft were giving the idea any serious time or money.
Dropbox did so well, in fact, that they were able to catch the attention of former CEO of Apple Steve Jobs. Jobs wanted to buy Dropbox, and when he was denied the ability to do so, according Dropbox co-founder Drew Houston in a recent Forbes interview, [Jobs] said we were a feature, not a product. Well, Houston never flinched, denied Jobs the acquisition, and continued to build his company. Now the company he's founded is raking in cash.
The online storage site just received $250 million in funding through its latest round of financing. With the new assets, the company says it has plans to build staffing, make acquisitions and look for business partners.
The financing round that peaked at $257.2 million was organized by Index Ventures. Investors included Benchmark Capital, Goldman Sachs, Greylock Partners, Institutional Venture Partners and several others. That number puts Dropbox easily at the helm of one of the largest rounds of fundraising in Silicon Valley this year. Forbes has named Dropbox tech's hottest startup while TechCrunch suggested earlier this year that companies valuation is estimated to be more than $5 billion dollars. That's billion with a b.
The site currently has 45 million users that share about one billion files every day. These files include some of people's most coveted digital files including music, movies, photos, business documents and much more.
Originally, the company only provided online storage for Macs and PCs, but with increasing sales in the smartphone market, the company has been expanding their mobile platform more aggressively. Dropbox now has mobile apps for Android, iOS, and Blackberry. In addition to their free service, which offers 2 gigabytes of online storage, the company offers a 50GB plan for $9.99 and a 100GB plan for $19.99 a month.
Dropbox is also aggressively pursuing new partnerships such as the one recently announced with HTC. In upcoming HTC phones that run on Android -- by far the most popular type of HTC phones -- Dropbox will be installed by default. Considering that HTC is the third largest phone manufacturer in the world, behind only Apple and Samsung respectively, this has been great news for Dropbox. HTC has seen rampant growth over the past several years and sold 24.6 million handsets in 2010, according to the mobile technology blog IntoMobile.
The company has long been touted by Silicon Valley journalists earning the company several web-based awards including a Webby, Macworld Editor's Choice Award, Crunchie Award and many more. Although Houston was once forced to deny his idol, Jobs, the opportunity to takeover his company, it seems as though he's made the right decision. Right now, Dropbox is one of the hottest names in the tech world.