I distinctly remember the day I met Drew Houston and his co-founder Arash Ferdowsi, both MIT alumni
dropouts. It was at an early edition of YCombinator’s Demo Day. I saw them again at a party hosted by Xobni and learned about their plans for Dropbox. That was in 2008. And then I wrote about the company. Four years into the future, that little germ of an idea has become a massive company. An article in Forbes has some astounding stats that give you a sense of the size and scope of Dropbox’s business.
- A billion files saved every 24 hours.
- It has 100 million users, twice as many as a year ago.
- Nearly 96 percent of its customers use Dropbox for free.
- About $500 million in revenues.
- Almost 250 employees. It started the year with 90 employees.
- A year ago when its revenues were $250 million, it was valued by private investors at over $4 billion. The company has attracted quite a few celebrity investors. Today its value is rumored to much higher.
That growth has come despite increased competition. In an interview with The New York Times, Houston dismissed competition and said:
“Those companies are busy trying to build something we had four years ago. We’re out front. We’re already out there and building smaller features and things. All those other companies have turf to protect, and they’re fighting a battle on a totally different front.”
Where is this company going? If its deals to bundle storage into Samsung and HTC phones are any indication, Dropbox has plans to embed itself into many devices and eventually become the “filesystem for distributed data” for the new connected world. Houston touched on this briefly at our RoadMap conference in 2011. Watch the video.